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I have an iPhone with iOS 14.3. According to Apple, I can control access by mobile apps to my Photo libraries. Apparently it works with WhatsApp, Skype Adobe and other apps. I have set the access of all apps to my photo gallery as NONE in Apple iOS Settings -> Privacy -> Photos.

I had installed Wish app version 4.33.2 (Dev Context Logic Inc.) to make online purchases. Recently I have had to contact Wish support and I need to upload an image from my mobile photos. When I click "Upload button", 3 options were available, i.e., "Photo Library", "Take Photo" and "Browse". I selected "Photo Library".

I was expecting a dialogue to ask permission to my photo library, but surprisingly, it didn't ask and I could view all my photo available to upload. I immediately checked list of apps that has requested access to Photos in my mobile privacy settings, but I cannot see the name of Wish mobile app listed there. I went to Apple settings and checked the Wish mobile app settings where I can only see Siri, Notifications, Mobile Data (in Allowed Wish to access area) and Language options.

I then checked the option to "Take Photo", so I got a pop up asking permission to Camera, which I had not given. I also checked the 3rd option, i.e. "Browse" and I was able to access browse with Files app into my phone storage, OneDrive and iCloud drive. Amazing!

I am unable to understand how the Wish mobile app accessed the mobile photos without first requesting the access.

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Here is a short explanation. Wish uses the PhotoKit technology provided by Apple, and more specifically the PHPickerViewController class. It's the pop-up that allows the user to upload or take a picture.

PHPickerViewController panel

Since iOS 14, this panel doesn't need any permission to display your pictures, since you have to select which one you send to Wish (or any other app); nothing is sent before you select them.

No need to worry, Wish can't access your pictures/camera or your cloud storages!

If you want to learn more about the Photo picker here is a WWDC 2020 video : https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2020/10652/

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