Apple is all about protecting the privacy of its users. And every year, when it presents a new version of iOS, the tech giant always announces new features intended to improve this protection.
Last year, for example, the firm introduced iCloud+, an offer aimed at users of paid storage on iCloud and which provides access to new privacy protection features. Among these, there is the private relay.
Private relay: the VPN competitor could still crack down in 2022
The private relay or private relay works more or less like a vpn and allows the user to secure their connections and hide their IP address (however, unlike other VPN on iOSprivate relay is not intended to circumvent geo-restrictions on apps or the web).
And Apple is rumored to be improving this privacy relay this year, to allow the feature to hide even more personal data. Quoted in an article published by Digiday, Charles Manning, CEO of the mobile measurement company Kochava, explains what the Cupertino company could do to strengthen the protection of the privacy of its users.
“I believe Apple will announce that customers love Private Relay and it’s been so successful that they’re going to make it a permanent feature for in-app behavior”did he declare.
Indeed, for the moment, the private relay only protects user connections on the web, on Safari. By extending this feature to mobile application traffic, Apple would then strengthen the protection it already offers on iOS against tracking by mobile applications.
A way to extend the protection of the ATT?
As a reminder, the firm has set up a device called ATT or App Tracking Transparency. This device requires developers to explicitly request the user’s permission via a dialog box before accessing an identifier called IDFA which allows the user to be tracked between several apps for advertising purposes.
According to the Digiday article, this device would have its limits. Also, users of iOS apps would still be tracked despite the fact that they did not give their consent.
The news outlet cites multiple sources indicating that over the past 12 months, non-consented tracking, particularly the practice of a technique called fingerprinting, has allegedly been “endemic on iOS”.
This situation would encourage Apple to act. And the extension of the private relay on the traffic of the apps would be one of the means that the firm could use to fight against these unconsented trackings.
“The logistical implications of policy enforcement combined with Apple’s heritage of creating technical safeguards indicate that they will rely on Private Relay as a technical (or partial) enforcement mechanism”explains Charles Manning.
But of course, at the moment this is just a rumor. Nevertheless, we will be fixed soon enough. Indeed, Apple will present iOS 16 at its WWDC conference which is scheduled for the month of June.
After this presentation, the firm will also launch the beta of this new version of iOS, which will make it possible to test the new features before the official release and to know the compatible devices. According to the latest rumors, the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, as well as the first generation iPhone SE will no longer receive this update to iOS 16.