iOS 15 Escalates Apple’s Privacy War With Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook’s feud has been both fascinating and frightening to watch. Zuckerberg wants to inflict pain on Apple, while Cook wants Facebook to delete our data. After all, privacy is a human right, not free data.
Particularly now, Apple has finally started acquiring informed consent for iPhone users, and a large portion of its customers has chosen to withhold consent.
In the digital world, opting out of tracking is almost as creepy as tracking in the real world. It’s hard but, apparently, Android is driving most of the most data-hungry advertising spend.
Privacy escalation in iOS 15
In iOS 14, privacy labels show us exactly what the app or service says is being accessed. Yes, there is some scrutiny, but there is also a great deal of opportunity for obfuscation. This is basically just filing their paperwork.
In iOS 15, you’ll find App Privacy Reports, a new section in Settings that lets you examine how often apps access various iPhone features, not just things like camera, mic, location, photos, or contacts, but also which third-party domains they’re contacting and how recently. As a result, we’re not just accepting their paperwork anymore; we’re checking their receipts.
In the same way, App Tracking transparency only gave us access to our digital location on the device. By making it possible for us to decide whether or not our activity and behaviour can be tracked across all our devices and on the web, it prevents some giant social search company from watching our every move.
Facebook might follow us out of Instagram, to our dating or fertility journal apps, to our favorite sites, to casino sites, to online games, or to our baby shopping sites!!
While App Tracking transparency doesn’t cover everything, it’s an important part of it. There is no coverage of first-party tracking, and instead only third-party tracking is covered. Consequently, Facebook can and still does track us freely and fully across its own massively popular apps and websites, including Facebook proper, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
It’s impossible to force them to respect our privacy preferences outside the honor system due to the fact that so many sites integrate both web and social services, so they can still track us on the internet regardless.
Currently, anyone has access to our IP address, our device address, and our computer’s IP address, whether they are our internet service provider; websites that we land on, or data harvesters that sit on them. We can then build and refine our shadow profiles, whether or not we use Facebook.
By linking our logins, the newsletters we subscribe to, the physical address we give for delivery, even by partnering with real-world data brokers, they have access to our IP address, email address, and even our physical address.
It seems to us like only spies would be able to know us so well if they were monitoring our microphones and cameras. It is simply a more discreet and more energy-efficient way of harvesting our behavior.
This is what Private Relay is going to address. It encrypts all internet requests leaving our devices, so even our ISP can’t see what we’re doing on the web, then replaces our real IP address with a random one, and sends our encrypted request to a third party relay service.
Third-party relays only get the random IP address, so they don’t know who we are. They decrypt the request, and send it off to the internet, so the website we land on doesn’t either. In addition, the data harvesting face huggers attached to them cannot link any of our other activities, email or physical addresses, or real-world transactions back to us. So while our ISP and Apple
Obviously, if we go to Facebook and log in, or YouTube, or Gmail, or any other website where we have an account, we are automatically disclosing our identity. Now we have a choice to make. We’re giving it, not having it taken. Facebook will definitely have another tantrum, take out more full-page ads in the papers they’ve tried to put out of business, and secretly send more lobbyists to claim Apple is abusing a monopoly by trying to protect Apple users.
Instead of just taking a moment, a single moment, to stop and think differently – to realize that maybe they’re not entitled to receive our more private data by divine right, and they need to establish more honest, more equitable relationships with us.