Apple has been known to take user privacy very seriously and provides best-in-class privacy-centric features with every major software release.
Earlier this year Apple released iOS 14.5 which allowed the users to completely opt out of ad tracking on a app by app basis, blocking a specific app’s access to device’s ad tracking ID which allowed marketers to monitor your web and in-app behavior to build huge data-sets of profiles including demographic information, purchasing habits, and life events.
Apple didn’t stop there and has added many new, really great ground-breaking, privacy-centric features to iOS and iPadOS 15 that can take your privacy to the next level.
Private Relay routes your web traffic through several servers rather than directly connecting to a specific one, this helps to keep your IP address and location private.
The service works by making two hops: the first is to Apple’s servers, which encrypts your data and removes identifying information, while the second is run by a “trusted partner” to assign a temporary IP address.
This feature is very similar to what you would find on something like Tor Browser, but unlike Tor, Private Relay only makes two hops, ensuring fast browsing speeds.
Mail Privacy Protection
Each Marketing email that you receive includes something called a tracking pixel; these are small hidden objects embedded into the body of an email. This allows marketers to learn more about the recipient including your IP address, when you opened the email, what device you are using, and more.
With iOS 15 Apple has introduced something called Mail Privacy Protection. This feature basically loads all the emails inside of a private sandbox, while at the same time routing all the emails through a series of proxy servers before it arrives on your device. This will lead the marketers to inaccurate data about your devices, location, and IP address.
Hide My Email
Instead of providing your real email address to a company when signing up for a service, Hide My Email allows the users to generate a unique burner e-mail address just for use with that specific service, while all the email received by the burner email address will be forwarded to an email associated with your Apple ID of your choosing.
This is something similar to temp-mail.org, which also offers you the ability to create temporary burner email addresses, but Apple’s approach is much more secure and intuitive to use.
Overall, this feature makes iOS 15 a very privacy-centric operating system. The only caveat being that Private Relay & Hide My Mail are only available to users that are subscribed to iCloud+, while Mail Privacy Protection works only with an iCloud e-mail address.
However, iCloud+ is available to subscribe in India at a cost of only Rs 75 per month and includes 50GB of storage for your photos, files, and backups; iCloud Private Relay (Beta), Hide My Email, Custom Email Domain, and HomeKit Secure Video support for one camera and this can be shared with up to five other family members.