“Data protection has been central to what we have done at Apple from the very beginning,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, when he announced new data protection features at the company’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). Keynote held yesterday. Here’s a round-up of those features that will be added to software on Apple’s iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Watches later this year:
App privacy report: With iOS and iPadOS 15, users can now see in greater detail what data (photos, contacts, etc.) and sensors (camera, microphone, location) apps are accessing, what third-party domains they are connecting to, and how recently they have contacted those domains. Last month, Google also announced a similar feature called Privacy Dashboard, available for Android 12.
This feature follows features like app tracking transparency and privacy nutrition labels that are going into effect. Apple allowed its users using iOS 14 to prevent apps from tracking the user outside of the app. Facebook fiercely denied this new feature, but Apple didn’t give in.
ICloud private relay: Apple will be offering a VPN-like feature for Safari as part of its new service called iCloud +, which will be offered to current paid iCloud users at no extra charge.
“When browsing with Safari, Private Relay ensures that all traffic leaving a user’s device is encrypted so that no one between the user and the website they are visiting, not even Apple or the network provider, can access and read User. All requests from the user are then sent through two separate Internet relays. The first assigns the user an anonymous IP address that corresponds to their region but not their actual location. The second decrypts the web address they want to visit and forwards it to their destination. This separation of information protects the privacy of the user, since no single unit can identify who a user is and which websites he is visiting. ” Apple
Apple is advertise This function is better than conventional VPNs because of the second relay. However, this feature will not be available in China, Belarus, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and the Philippines. Reuters reported.
Data protection for emails: This new feature masks the user’s IP address and prevents senders from using this data to link them to other online activities of the user or to determine the user’s location. It also turns off the ability for senders to find out if and when an email is opened. Previously, senders could use invisible pixels to gather such information.
Safari’s intelligent tracking prevention is getting better: Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature has been around for a while and uses machine learning on the device to stop unwanted trackers while websites are functioning normally. Intelligent Tracking Prevention now has the ability to hide a user’s IP address from trackers. Previously, trackers could use the IP address to link a user’s activities across websites and create a profile about them.
“Hide my e-mail” function extended: Apple already had a Sign In with Apple feature that would allow users to sign up for an app or website without giving their real email address. Instead, Apple generates a unique, random email ID that forwards emails to the real ID. This allows users to keep their personal email ID secret while apps and websites can continue to provide their services seamlessly. With iCloud +, Apple is now expanding the Hide My Email function to not only cover account registrations, but also for cases such as filling out a form on the web, registering for a newsletter and sending e-mails from the mail app.
Siri audio processing on the device: Apple’s voice assistant Siri will have a voice recognition feature on the device that ensures that audio requests are processed by default on the user’s device. This is different from Amazon’s Alexa is working, which sends the request to Amazon’s servers for processing and using the data for various purposes. Some Google Pixel devices already have on-device discovery for the Google Assistant, but other devices running the Google Assistant do not yet have this capability and continue to rely on responses from Google servers.
Recording indicator comes on Macs: Macs running the new macOS Monterey will now show up in Control Center when an app accesses your microphone, in addition to the existing physical green light next to the built-in webcam that turns on when an app is using the camera. These display functions are already available for iPhones and iPad.