During WWDC21, Apple announced a series of user privacy updates, introducing three new functions to iCloud+ as well as some user protection changes to iCloud+ Crab.

In addition, device monitoring capabilities now show what each installed app monitors, the amount of activity, who they share with and all information regarding their digital identity in a new report, giving the user greater control.

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Image taken from WWDC21, where Apple showed new user privacy controls. Figure shows a complete report of what user data an app will use on iOS 15.
Full reporting of your data usage will now be offered to iOS 15 users, thanks to new Apple privacy controls. Image: Apple/Disclosure

The protection of data received some weighty news on iOS 15: At WWDC21, Apple showed new features that hide your IP address in emails sent and received, preventing trackers from crossing this data with your browsing history and determining, for example, your location.

With apps, there is also the introduction of a complete privacy report, showing the user what data is collected by the apps before they are installed – and also how they will be worked after installation: with whom Facebook shares your information, by example. All of this is displayed in a very thorough report, listing third-party domains that may have received your material without your knowledge.

iCloud+ has gained new enhancements, with the paid version of Apple's storage platform now featuring three distinct functions, with no price change:

  • Hide my E-mail: function that creates, with just a few taps, random emails so that you don't have to enter your personal address when accessing a platform closed by login credentials (saving you from having to delete invasive newsletters and advertisements because of this)
  • Private Relay: A system that works in the background whenever you use Safari, Private Relay ensures that all traffic that leaves your iPhone is under strong encryption, so that only you and the page you visit can read the material. .
  • HomeKit Expansion: Now, more security and surveillance devices can be listed within the same iCloud+ account, which will detect movements recorded by smart cameras and notify users who are far away. Furthermore, all captured material will be processed within the device, so there is no risk of leaks compromising information stored on external servers.

Finally, Siri Digital Assistant will process (some) requests “on device”. That is, even without internet, it will still be able to perform basic functions, such as setting alarms or calendar notifications. The importance of this for privacy is that nothing you ask her will leave her device. Since nothing is uploaded to any server, not even Apple itself will know what your interactions with the system are.

The new features will be made available by Apple in the beta version of iOS 15, expected to arrive in July 2021.

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