Apple has announced a series of updates to its management systems for tablets, phones, and computers that could change the way millions of people’s data is sent over the Internet – a boon for privacy enthusiasts but a potential problem for advertisers, police, and governments…
At Apple’s global developer conference yesterday, the company announced that updates to its web browser will provide an anonymous browsing feature called Private Relay. This disguises user data from site operators who use various intermediaries. Software to do this, such as the Tor network, already exists, but Apple’s move will make this type of eclipse much more popular.
Siri’s voice assistant also processes the audio on the device instead of sending it to Apple’s servers for analysis, and changes to Apple’s email program will prevent senders from tracking it when a message and address are read. IP from which it was obtained.
The changes have caused frustration in marketing for people who follow users to create a profile and better target them. Financial Times Chief Financial Officer Matt Taylor said this would weaken its ability to provide advertising services. He pointed out that about 50 percent of email marketing on an iPhone can be accessed through the Mail app, so half of the previously collected user data is lost. (Like most online publications, New Scientist collects all kinds of information about its readers.)
The new features are a continuation of Apple’s recent crackdown on intrusive advertising habits. With iOS 14.5, the current version of its operating system, the company forced apps to tell users what they’re doing to collect user data and ask for permission.
Alan Woodward of the University of Surrey in the UK says Apple is simply responding to the demands of users who are increasingly concerned about privacy.
“There are very few things you pay for on the web, but the problem is the old saying: if you don’t pay for the product, you are the product,” he says. “I think it’s a way to stand out in the market and say, ‘You pay us, we protect you.’ We are selling a ship you live on and we want you to feel safe and private. ”
Woodward warns that the changes won’t be the end of the story and will likely start an “aberration” with advertisers and marketers as they try to find ways for new features.
He also highlighted that the news due to these governments will not be available in several countries, such as China, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, and Egypt. China alone is the source of 15% of Apple’s sales.
The features are unlikely to be appreciated by the authorities, even in countries that do not prohibit them. UK Home Secretary Priti Patel warned Facebook earlier this year that its plans to introduce end-to-end tagging on Facebook Messenger and Instagram were “unacceptable”. Many state security agencies have repeatedly called for “backdoors” to bypass the cryptographic systems of major technology companies.
But security expert Lukasz Olejnik says improving security and privacy is good, and people are concerned about their data being exploited, even if we have to wait for more details before we know how secure the assets will be. Apple said the update will be released later this year.
‘Nowadays, if a user commits a crime, the IP address is often the proof. If the IP address does not unequivocally refer to the human user, the user can escape criminal prosecution. This would be controversial for policymakers or police. Of course, this is only a problem if Apple or its partners are unable to assign IP addresses to users. ”
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.