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I am wondering how enabling supervised mode on an iOS device affects the user's privacy, especially with respect gaining access to data on the device without the user's consent.

As I understand, supervised mode provides a feature called 'activation bypass', which allows one to reset the device without the user's password. Does it also make it possible to unlock the device or gain access to some data without the user's password, as opposed to an unsupervised device? In other words, does supervised mode compromise the security of the device or the user's privacy in any way?

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Simply being supervised grants the following:

  • Remote wipe, which won't provide access to your information, only resetting the device.
  • Activation Lock bypass, allowing a reset device to be used again by the administrator.
  • Managed Lost Mode, providing the device's location (but you'll know about this through a large modal message).

Supervision also allows the administrator to install a number of features on the device, including a web proxy, allowing internet traffic to be monitored. To tell if these features have been installed, go to Settings → General → Profiles & Device Management → profile name.

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Supervised mode allows the supervisor access to the entire phone, without the consent of the owner - since consent is implied by using a supervised phone.

However, only the computer that originally supervised the phone has access to it, so nobody else can do an unlock or wipe on the iPhone.

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