Apple dials privacy at its annual developer conference

Apple introduces new privacy features including user permission for ad tracking.

| Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 21:29 IST
WWDC 2020: Apple launches new privacy features
WWDC 2020: Apple launches new privacy features (Apple)
WWDC 2020: Apple launches new privacy features
WWDC 2020: Apple launches new privacy features (Apple)

Privacy took centre stage at Apple's annual developer conference, WWDC 2020. Apple has been pushing privacy as one of its key highlights of the ecosystem since last year. The focus on privacy comes in the wake of several data breach and harvesting incidents that rocked the tech space in recent times.

This year, Apple has announced many new features that give users more control over how websites and applications can access their data. The efforts include beefing up its Safari browser and “sign in with Apple” module.

Apple said that all the application will now require users' permission before tracking. This includes information collected by an application or website which work in tandem with other companies or data brokers for targeted advertising. This is probably the first time Apple has cracked down on ad tracking in such a big way.

On the App Store, developers are now mandated to provide summaries of their privacy practices. The information is supposed to be delivered in an easy-to-understand format for end users.

ALSO READ: With iOS 14, Apple doubles down on customisations, privacy

By upgrading to existing accounts to Sign in with Apple, users will have the flexibility to show “approximate” location information to the app developers instead of a “precise” location when giving an app access to the location of the device. Users will also get to see which applications have had access to the device's microphone and camera in the background.

As said earlier, Safari has also received a slew of privacy-focused features. The browser now comes with a Privacy Report which allows users to quickly check which cross-site trackers it has blocked. There's a new password monitoring feature that detects if your saved password had been part of any data breach, something very similar to Have I been pwned?

The upgraded Safari is available to iPhone users through the iOS 14 and desktop users via macOS Big Sur.

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First Published Date: 22 Jun, 23:40 IST