Why Apple’s push for privacy may worry Facebook, Google and others – Times of India
It took Apple about 45 minutes to mention privacy at the keynote address of WWDC 2021 on June 7. For a company that takes user privacy really seriously and likes everyone to know that, it was a bit of a surprise. However, when Apple did talk about privacy it was about more protection for users who use its devices. Apple announced a slew of new privacy features that will come to iPhone, Mac and Apple Watch. Here are some of the most important ones and why Facebook, Google will not be too happy with them:
No more unwanted tracking in Safari
Apple has been using the Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature for quite a while now. The feature relies on machine learning to stop trackers while allowing websites to function normally. Now, Apple is set to make Intelligent Tracking Prevention better by also hiding the user’s IP address from trackers. This means advertisers can’t utilise the user’s IP address as a unique identifier to connect their activity across websites and build a profile about them. For companies like Facebook, Google which do rely on advertising from third-party developers, this could come as a blow.
Apple’s answer to the VPN
Apple introduced a paid version of iCloud called iCloud+ which bakes into more security and privacy. iCloud will now have a feature called Private Relay that ensures all traffic leaving a user’s device is encrypted. This means no one between the user and the website they are visiting can access and read it, not even Apple or the user’s network provider. All the user’s requests are then sent through two separate internet relays. The first assigns the user an anonymous IP address that maps to their region but not their actual location. The second decrypts the web address they want to visit and forwards them to their destination. This separation of information protects the user’s privacy because no single entity can identify who a user is and which sites they visit.
More privacy in emails sent from Mail app
In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.
Users will know how apps use their data
With App Privacy Report, users can see how often each app has used the permission they’ve previously granted to access their location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts during the past seven days. Users can check whether this makes sense to them, and take action by going to the app in Settings if it doesn’t. Users can also find out with whom their data may be shared by seeing all the third-party domains an app is contacting.