Apple – new security features that will benefit every Apple device

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Last night at Apple’s annual developer conference (WWDC21), they announced a bunch of new security features, many of which will help keep making security a focus for software developers by raising the bar.

Here’s the summary:

  • Private relay – all iCloud users basically get a built in, fancy virtual private network. This means your communications cannot be intercepted by anyone, including Apple, and your IP address is hidden. This will hurt advertisers who use your IP address to target you, more importantly it makes your Apple device much safer on unknown wifi networks*
  • Digital Legacy service – you can nominate someone to manage your Apple account if you die – so they can download your photos and files – after they provide a death certificate.
  • Hide my email – you can generate a free, temporary email, that will send messages on to your real account – again protecting your email from spammers and hackers.
  • Email privacy – finally they will block those tracking pixels that many apps use to tell if you’ve opened your email, and to grab your location and IP address
  • 3rd person account recovery – if you use your iPhone as a super secure digital vault, which is a pretty good idea, you can nominate someone else who can help you unlock it if you forget the key. This is a really nice feature.
  • Secure FaceTime on any device – you’ll be able to FaceTime with people on a web browser, or Android – keeping Apple in charge of solid end-to-end encryption.
  • Offline Siri – all Siri voice processing will be on device – for me I’m not so excited about the security, it will just be great to use Siri when there’s no internet!

These features will hit your Apple device around September this year.

*Private Relay won’t be made available in China (China accounts for 15% of apple revenue. No comment). Belarus, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda and the Philippines will also not get Private Relay…

From Angus Bradley
Angus is the founder at safedrop. He’s a self confessed Apple fan, and used Apple on-device encryption recently with UK Digital Courtrooms to provide secure offline bundles for Magistrates.