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11 new privacy and security features coming to the iPhone in Sep

By Cookie Monster - on 7 Jun 2023, 12:00am

11 new privacy and security features coming to the iPhone in Sep

Apple updates its privacy features for the iPhone with WWDC 2023 announcements in tow.

As one of the biggest advocates for user privacy, Apple took the opportunity at WWDC 2023 to announce 11 new privacy and security features coming to the iPhone in September 2023.


Greater controls over privacy when communicating

Private Browsing in Safari is even more private now.

To provide users better protection against trackers and from people who might have access to their device, Apple will roll out a significant update to private browsing where the browser window will automatically lock if it has not recently been in use.

For Photos, a new embedded Photos picker will help users share specific photos with apps while keeping the rest of their library private. Users will be shown more information about what they will share (e.g. the number of photos and videos, metadata, location, and depth information), along with regular reminders of their choice.

When sharing links in Messages and Mail, the link tracking protection feature will remove the extra information added by some websites to the URLs that track users across other websites. This feature will also work in Safari Private Browsing.

For developers, new tools will offer more information about the data practices of third-party software development kits (SDKs), which allow them to provide even more accurate Privacy Nutrition Labels.


Stronger safeguards towards user safety

"It's not your fault, but naked photos and videos can be used to hurt you."

To protect children from harmful content, Apple will introduce a new API for developers to integrate Communication Safety into their apps. Communication Safety will not only warn children of nudity content in videos when receiving or sending photos in Messages, but it will also keep them safe when sending and receiving from AirDrop, a FaceTime video message, and when using the Phone app to receive a Contact Poster. The image and video processing for Communication Safety happens on the device, which means Apple or any third party will not have access to the content.

Sensitive Content Warning will help adult users to avoid seeing unwanted nude content when receiving Messages, an AirDrop, a FaceTime video message, and the Phone app when receiving a Contact Poster.


More shareable without compromise

There's now a proper, safer way to sharing passwords with a trusted group of users.

Apple is also updating Passwords and Passkeys. Users can soon create a group to share passwords, and everyone in the group can add and edit passwords to keep them up-to-date. As the sharing is through iCloud Keychain, it is end-to-end encrypted. One-time verification codes received in Mail will also be automatically auto-filled in Safari.

For users at risk of being targeted by mercenary spyware, Lockdown Mode will be enhanced to encompass safer wireless connectivity defaults, media handling, media sharing defaults, sandboxing, and network security optimisations. Lockdown Mode will also be supported on watchOS.


Safety explained for iOS 17 new features

As briefly covered in our article on iOS 17, Apple will introduce Check In, NameDrop and Live Voicemail. Here's a more detailed explanation on how each feature works: 

Once enabled, Check-In will automatically detect when the user has reached their intended destination and inform selected contacts via Messages. If Check In sees the user is not progressing toward the declared venue, it will check in with the user.

If there is no response, Check In will share essential information with the selected contacts, such as the precise location, battery level, cell service status, and the iPhone's last active time.

Check-In can be ended anytime, and information sent with this feature is end-to-end encrypted. Nobody else except the user and the selected contact(s) can read the data. 

As with all AirDrop experiences, NameDrop securely shares content with intended recipients over a connection encrypted with TLS.

Besides making it easier for the user to decide when to answer a phone call, Live Voicemail will automatically direct calls from unknown numbers in Silence Unknown Callers mode without ringing. Calls identified as spam by telcos will not appear as Live Voicemail, and will be immediately declined. 

These 11 new privacy and safety features will be available in free software updates in September.

Source: Apple

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