During WWDC 21, Apple announced major updates for user privacy protections across its platform. A new service was introduced called iCloud+ which will consist of a VPN-like feature called Privacy Relay that will hide your information as you surf the web. According to the Cupertino tech giant, the Privacy Relay will send internet traffic through two relay systems, obscuring your information even from Apple itself. The service also supports HomeKit Secure Video, and Mail Privacy Protection, and will be included as part of current iCloud price tiers.
Apple announces iCloud+ at WWDC 21
iCloud is the latest Apple service to receive major privacy upgrades. Starting this fall, users will have the ability to add a recovery contact like a family member or friend in case they forget their password, this way they can send a code to their device and get back into their account. Apple is also supporting legacy accounts, users can request access for deceased relatives to get photos and data that is important to them to have access to after the person has passed away.
The tech giant is also working on Mail Privacy Protection for iCloud Mail. This feature will hide your IP address from senders so you cannot be linked to other online activity and surf safely. It will also prevent them from receiving location data or being able to see exactly when you opened the email. Apple is also hiding users’ IP addresses in Safari which means that you cannot be tracked across the web.
According to the tech giant, it views privacy as a human right and it has certainly committed to that idea and showed it at this year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference. All of the features announced at the event will be made available for developers as a beta starting today, to public users in July, and will be made available to every user this fall.
Privacy has been central to our work at Apple from the very beginning. Every year, we push ourselves to develop new technology to help users take more control of their data and make informed decisions about whom they share it with. This year’s updates include innovative features that give users deeper insights and more granular control than ever before.
Other than iCloud, Siri is also getting privacy updates this year. Apple is introducing on-device speech recognition to Siri so that your audio interaction with Siri never leaves your device. This means that various requests to Siri can be made without an Internet connection and that Siri will now be much faster while answering your requests.
- WWDC 21 HomeKit announcements: home keys, SharePlay, third-party support for Siri and, new Matter interoperability standard
- macOS Monterey announced: new Safari, Universal Control, Live text, Focus, FaceTime improvements, and more
- tvOS 15 announced with support for Spatial Audio, HomePod speaker support and “Shared with You”
- iOS 15 announced with FaceTime and Messages updates, improved notifications, Focus, intelligence features and more
- AirPods features with iOS 15: conversation boost, ambient noise reduction, Announce notification and more