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7 major privacy updates announced at WWDC 2021

Apple’s WWDC 2021 event began today (June 7) with a keynote streamed live from Apple Park, Cupertino.

The developer conference is Apple’s annual opportunity to show off its latest software developments from iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, to new features found on the Apple Watch, AirPods and Mac lines.

The event also gives Apple a chance to tell users about its latest privacy updates. Here are all the biggest security features coming to iOS and iCloud this year.

Mail Privacy Protection

Mail Privacy Protection is designed to give you more peace of mind when using Apple’s Mail app.

According to Apple, marketing emails can contain invisible pixels to gather information on your email activity including when you open a message and your IP address.

Mail Privacy Protection hides your IP address from senders so they can’t use it to track your online activity, determine your location or find out if you’ve opened their emails.

App Privacy Report

Apple’s Safari browser is already able to hide your IP address to prevent people from tracking you across the web or learning your location. You can see the trackers its stopped in your Safari Privacy Report.

Now, Apple is bringing this feature to your apps with a new App Privacy Report section in Settings. This means you can see exactly when apps have used the permissions you’ve granted, including your location, photos camera, mic and contacts over the past week.

The App Privacy Report will also show your who your data is being shared with, including a list of all third party domains your apps are talking to.

On-device speech recognition for Siri

Apple also announced that it will be bringing on-device processing to Siri.

Thanks to the Neural Engine, your Siri interactions can now be processed on your iPhone or iPad by default, meaning you’ll no longer need to worry about unwanted audio recordings.

This also means you can launch apps, adjust your settings, control music and more all with no internet connection and Siri can complete those tasks faster.

Account Recovery

Apple announced a new Account Recovery option for your Apple ID.

You can now add any friends or family members you really trust to a recovery contacts list. They won’t get access to your account, but if you forget your password, they will receive the code you need to get back in.

Digital Legacy

Digital Legacy is certainly one of the more morbid features Apple announced at the event.

The new programme essentially makes it easier to pass on important info to your friends or family when you die. All you need to do is add them as legacy contacts, and they’ll be able to request access to your iCloud after you pass.

This includes you photos notes and mail and more, but does not include your payment information, subscriptions, licensed media or your Keychain.

Private Relay

Private Relay is one of the new features available in iCloud Plus.

The feature lets you browse Safari more securely by encrypting any traffic that leaves your device, preventing others from reading it. All requests are send through two separate internet relays, meaning no-one (not even Apple) can see who you are or which sites you visit.

Hide My Email

Another new privacy feature for iCloud Plus is Hide My Email.

This feature gives you the ability to generate random, unique email addresses on the fly that will forward emails to your personal address. This means you can avoid giving your address to any old mailing list and is built directly into Mail, Safari and iCloud Settings so you can set up and delete addresses whenever you need them.

If you’re concerned about your privacy make sure to checkout our best VPN guide.

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