Apple introduced a major update for Safari Private Browsingoffers users better protection against third-party trackers when they browse the web.
“Advanced tracking and fingerprint protection goes a step further to help prevent websites from using the latest techniques to track or identify a user’s device,” the iPhone maker said.
“Private Browsing is now locked when not in use, allowing users to keep tabs open even when away from the device.”
Privacy enhancements were previewed at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week. They’re expected to roll out to users as part of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma later this year.
Other key changes include Tracking Link Protection in Mail, Messages, and Safari private mode for auto-deleting tracking parameters in the URL, which is often used to track information about clicks.
“Safari has been an unknown pioneer of private browsing, and so many privacy and security features, and this year is just a tour de force,” said Apple’s Craig Federighi. quoted as told to Fast Company. “Browsing the internet is one of the main privacy threat vectors.”
Also coming to iOS is a new embedded Photo picker that allows users to share certain photos with other apps while keeping their library private.
Apple is getting better Communication Security, which warns children when they receive or send explicit images in Messages, to include video content. Additionally, this feature extends to AirDrop, FaceTime video messaging, and the Photo picker.
Privacy protection technologies that support Communication Security are also expected to support Sensitive Content Warnings, an optional setting that helps adult users avoid receiving unsolicited nude pictures and videos via Messages, AirDrop, or FaceTime video messages.
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Users will also be able to securely share a set of passwords and passkeys with others via iCloud Keychain by creating groups. Each individual in the group can add and edit passwords to ensure that they are up to date.
Finally, Apple is bringing new capabilities to Lockdown Mode, including “more secure wireless connectivity defaults, media handling, media sharing defaults, sandboxing, and network security optimizations.” Enhanced security settings are also extended to support watchOS.
“Enabling Lockdown Mode further strengthens device defenses and severely restricts certain functions, sharply reducing the attack surface for those who need additional protection,” Apple said.
“Lockdown Mode evolves to provide more protection for those who may be targeted by paid spyware because of who they are or what they do.”