General
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 min read

iOS 13 privacy and security features announced at WWDC

Silvana Paneva
August 13, 2019

This fall, Apple’s new iOS 13 will be out, and it’s coming with a lot of new privacy and security feature. Apple has always given a lot of attention to protecting your data. That’s one of the most significant differences between Apple and their competitors, like Google.

1. Location tracking notifications

Do you ever wonder which apps track your location? Worry no more! iOS 13 will regularly remind you about apps that are tracking your location in the background. It will tell you how many times an app has tracked you, and show you a map with the location points. Furthermore, from this screen, you can change your location preferences.

2. Eliminate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi tracking

Some apps, instead of using the GPS in your device, they use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections around you to locate you. This is like a backdoor to your location since it allows apps to track you without your permission. These apps track your location between places, building up a picture of where you go and what you do. With iOS13 you can block Wi-Fi and Bluetooth tracking, so you can better protect your privacy.

3. Sign in with Apple

People often use social account login buttons when signing up in new apps or websites. These options save time but they sacrifice your privacy. When you sign in using social login buttons, this app/website can gain access to your social account data. That’s why Apple is introducing its “Sign in with Apple” button. Unlike other social logins, “Sign in with Apple” keeps your data protected. It shares your name and email address, only if you give permission. Furthermore, if you want Apple can create a random email address, and your email stays private.

4. HomeKit Secure

Video Smart home users use security cameras or doorbell cameras to find out what’s going on around their house. Some people even have cameras to keep an eye on their pets. The problem is that most of these security cameras send your video to the cloud for analysis, and this risks your privacy. With HomeKit Secure Video your security footage can be analysed locally using your iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV. Then an encrypted version of it is stored on iCloud.

5. Find My gets an offline tracking

Find My - the app for locating your friends and devices, comes with offline tracking. If you’ve lost your laptop, it broadcasts its location using Bluetooth, which is securely uploaded to Apple’s servers using nearby cellular-connected iPhones and other Apple devices. The location data is cryptographically scrambled and anonymised to prevent everyone from tracking your lost devices.

6. Remove location metadata from your photos

When you take a photo your iPhone saves the location of where the photo was taken, as metadata in the photo file. Unfortunately, this can reveal private locations (for example, your home or office). If you share these photos on social media or other platforms, many of them don’t remove the data when you upload the photo. Now, if you want, you can remove the location data from a photo before sharing it.