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

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

privacy security features wwdc 2023 news

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

To provide users better protection against trackers and from people who might have access to their device, Apple will roll out a major 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 be sharing (e.g. number of photos and videos, metadata, location, 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, more information about the data practices of third-party software development kits (SDKs) will be offered by new tools, which allow them to provide even more accurate Privacy Nutrition Labels.

To protect children from harmful content, Apple will introduce a new API for developers to integrate Communication Safety into their apps. Communciation Safety will not only warns children of nudity content in videos when receiving or sending photos in Messages, 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 Communicatio Safety happens on the device, which means Apple or any third party will not have acess to the content.

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

Apple is also updating Passwords and Passkeys. Users can soon create a group to share a set of 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 who are 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.

As briefly covered in our article on iOS 17, Apple will be introducing Check In, NameDrop and Live Voicemail. Here’s a more detailed explanation on how each of these features work: 

Once enabled, Check In will automatically detect when the user has reached their intended destination, and will let selected contacts know via Messages. If Check In detects the user is not making any progress toward the declared destination, it will check in with the user.

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

Check In can be ended at any time 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 an 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 that are 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 avialable in free software updates in September.

Source: Apple