At WWDC 21, Apple demonstrated powerful new privacy protections in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey and watchOS 8 that help users better control and manage access to their data. These features represent the latest innovation in privacy.

Apple strengthens its leadership in privacy

He said Craig FederighiSenior Vice President of Software Engineering at Apple:

Privacy has been central to our work at Apple since the beginning. And every year, we challenge ourselves to develop new technology that helps users take greater control of their data and make informed decisions about who they choose to share it with. This year's updates include innovative features that give users more detailed information and more precise control than ever before.

Data protection from third parties


In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection prevents senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about a user, this new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when a user opened an email, and hides a user's IP address so that the sender can't associate it The rest of the user's online activity or location.

The browser

For several years, Intelligent Tracking Prevention has helped protect Safari users from unwanted tracking by using on-device machine learning to turn off trackers, while allowing websites to function normally. This year, Intelligent Tracking Prevention has become even more powerful by also hiding a user's IP address from trackers, which means they cannot use a user's IP address as a unique identifier to associate and profile a user's activities across websites.

App privacy check

With Apple's new App Privacy Report, a user can see how many times each app has used the previously granted permission to access their location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts in the last seven days.

Users can check if this makes sense, and if not, they can take the necessary action by going to the app in the settings menu. Users can also see who their data can be shared with by seeing all the third-party domains that the app connects to.

Process audio related to Siri requests on the device

With on-device speech recognition, audio related to users' requests is processed directly on their iPhone and iPad by default, addressing one of the biggest privacy concerns when using voice aids, unwanted audio recording.

For many requests, Siri's processing process has been moved on the device as well, allowing for offline processing of requests, such as launching apps, setting timers and alarms, changing settings, or controlling music.

Enhance internet privacy with iCloud+

The new iCloud+ service combines everything customers love about iCloud with new premium features including iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, and expanded HomeKit camcorder support, at no additional cost.

Private Relay service

A new internet privacy service integrated directly into iCloud, allowing users to connect and browse the web in a safer and more private way. 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're visiting can access and read it, not even Apple or the user's network provider. All user requests are then sent in two separate transmission phases over the Internet. The first stage assigns an anonymous IP address to the user for their region and not their actual location. In the second stage, the web address that the user wants to visit is decrypted and redirected to the user's destination. This separation of information protects user privacy because no single entity can identify a user and the sites they visit.

Expanding the capabilities of the Sign in with Apple feature, Hide My Email allows users to share unique, random email addresses that forward to their personal inbox when they want to keep their personal email address private. The Hide My Email feature, built directly into Safari, iCloud, and Mail settings, allows users to create and delete as many addresses as they want at any time, giving them control over who can contact them.

iCloud+ expands built-in support for HomeKit Secure Video so users can connect more cameras in the Home app than ever before, while giving them fully encrypted storage for Home Security videos that doesn't affect their storage. The HomeKit Secure Video feature also ensures that activity detected by users' security cameras is analyzed and encrypted by their Apple devices at home before it is stored securely in iCloud.

Clarification about Private Relay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Although Apple did not announce in an official statement the availability of the global Private Relay feature, but a company spokesperson told the famous Reuters that there are 10 countries that will not be available in them, and these countries are Egypt, Saudi Arabia, China, Belarus (Belarus), Colombia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, South Africa, Uganda and the Philippines. Apple did not explain many details, but it said that the laws regulating in these countries prevent the work of any services that hide the citizen's browsing of the Internet and prevent tracking.

To clarify, the Private Relay feature is not a VPN, that is, it does not transfer your site to another country to enter a blocked site; It is a feature that works with Safari that prevents any party, including Apple and the Internet company, from knowing the site you entered; Even the site itself will know that you are from Egypt, for example, and show you any services it provides to the citizens of this country; But it will not show your real location. Apple explains that when browsing in Safari, this happens, and this means that if you browse from Chrome, Google, the telecommunications company, the security services, the site owner and even the DNS company will know information about you as usual. That is, Private Relay protects your browsing in Safari and does not give you a fake presence in another country like a VPN.

The App Privacy Report feature will come as part of a software update for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8. Hide My Email in the Mail app will come as part of a software update for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and

What do you think of Apple's upcoming privacy field updates with new system updates? What is the most useful feature in your opinion?


Wired | with the BBC

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