Europe's mobile phone companies united over one man's heart to ban Private Relay feature And Apple was prevented from adding it to its operating system because they see that Apple's privacy feature violates digital sovereignty, and so they demanded the European Union to classify Apple as a gatekeeper, which means huge entities that have a strong influence in the European market.
Private Relay feature
The Private Relay feature or “hide the address using iCloud” was launched by Apple to protect your privacy while browsing the web through the Safari browser, and the feature is very similar to VPN services because it encrypts your browser traffic and hides your location and your device’s IP address, and so on Your network provider and websites cannot get any of your private information and thus become anonymous to carriers who want to block Apple's feature because according to them it violates EU digital sovereignty.
Why are mobile companies fighting Apple's advantage?
Mobile phone companies in the European Union say Apple's "iCloud hide address" feature prevents them from managing their networks because Apple's feature works by sending web traffic first to an Apple server where it is stripped of a piece of information called an IP address. Apple sends the traffic to a second server operated by a third-party operator that assigns a temporary IP address to the user and sends the traffic to the website they wish to visit. This process hides the identity of the user and the website even from Apple itself.
Although the feature is a virtual private network, European carriers including Vodafone, Telefonica, Orange and T-Mobile say that the feature will weaken the ability of others to innovate and compete in the final digital markets and may negatively affect the ability of phone companies to manage networks Efficient communication.
That is why European mobile operators sent a joint letter to the European Commission to express their concerns about the feature. The letter signed by the mobile operators we just mentioned said, “Apple’s paging service aims to enhance the privacy of users when online and browsing by encrypting and redirecting traffic and thus Cut off other networks and servers from accessing vital network data and metadata, including the operators responsible for the connection process.
As the European phone company said, "Apple's Private Relay feature will lead to dire consequences in terms of undermining European digital sovereignty." The operators also asked the European Commission to consider Apple a “digital gatekeeper” and this designation under the European Union’s Digital Markets Act means that the American company is prevented from running the feature in its system there. However, some companies did not wait for the European Union to react as T-Mobile banned its users In America, the feature is enabled on iPhones.
finallyiCloud Private Relay is available in beta for all iOS 15 users, and Apple hasn't announced when it will be available in its final form. It is worth noting that Apple did not offer an advantage in some countries because the laws of these countries prevent this type of advantage and these countries are the most famous of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and the Philippines. However, if Apple is considered the gatekeeper, according to the European Digital Markets Law (the law has not been approved to this day This is by all governments) this feature may be prevented on users' devices in Europe in the coming period.