Apple introduces new privacy features across iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8

With every new major software release from Apple, whether it be iOS, iPadOS or macOS, they always introduce new privacy-focused features. This year, at WWDC 2021, Apple announced a range of new privacy protection features such as iCloud+, Mail Privacy Protection, on-device processing for Siri and more across the software ecosystems.

Starting with Mail app, there is a new feature called Mail Privacy Protection, which ensures that a user’s sensitive information isn’t exposed by invisible pixels. It also masks the user’s IP address, and with Intelligent Tracking Prevention, it prevents trackers from identifying a user’s activity across websites using their IP.

The next feature is called App Privacy Report, where users can see which apps have used their access to the location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts during the past seven days. The report also will show with whom a user’s data may be shared by showing all the third-party domains an app is contacting.

For iOS and iPadOS users, many Siri requests will now use the iPhone and iPad’s on-device speech recognition. This will increase user privacy as lesser requests will be sent to the cloud for processing.

iCloud+ brings many updates such as Private Relay, Hide My Email, and expanded HomeKit Secure Video support. With Private Relay, a user’s internet traffic is encrypted and then sent through two separate internet relays, ensuring that a user remains private online.

Hide My Email expands upon the Sign in with Apple feature, and lets users share unique, random email addresses that forward to their personal inbox. This is useful when a user does not wish to share their actual private email address to any website or service.

HomeKit Secure Video now supports connecting more cameras than before and it provides users with end-to-end encrypted storage for home security video footage that will not count against their storage capacity.

Other updates include the ability to share the current location once to apps in iOS and iPadOS, enhanced Photos limited library access and Secure Paste, which will ensure developers can’t gain access to the clipboard when copy/pasting stuff across apps.