Nefarious Yosemity Spotlight Feature

With the new version of OSX just released there is a rather naughty feature that is switched on by default.  By default any searches you do using spotlight will be sending these search terms off to various web services in order to fetch results.  Personally I think this is a very dodgy situation and I’ve turned these features off in order to grapple back some control over my privacy.  I don’t want all my local search terms broadcast to anyone.

To fix this you need to do the following:

  1. Open “Spotlight” Preferences
  2. Turn *OFF* “Spotlight Suggestions” as well as “Bing Web Searches”
  3. Open “Security and Privacy” Preferences
  4. Under the Privacy tab, select “Location Services”, and then the “Details” button of “System Services” item in the list on the right. (You may need to “Click the lock to make further changes” first…)
  5. Turn *OFF* “Spotlight Suggestions” in the “Allow system services to determine your location” section.
  6. Turn *ON* “Show location icon in menu bar when System Services request your location.

Once you have completed these steps Spotlight will no longer be broadcasting your searches and will also indicate when your location services are being queried by applications.

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