No Need to Panic . . . iCloud Plus Causes Problems For Others

macOS Monterey for the Mac and iOS 15 for the iPhone and iPad arrive this fall with dozens of new features. One of the most impressive is iCloud Plus (also known as iCloud+), that boosts online privacy.

Facebook and email marketers are very, very unhappy about this development . . . so it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a good thing.

iCloud+ plus offers two unique features:

Private Relay – In simple terms, Apple bounces browser page requests through two servers to hide your identity and location from companies that are trying to track you. Apple state the process does not impact speed, but it does require the use of Safari.

Hide My Email – Creates ficticious email addresses that forward to your real email address. These can be used on sites that demand an email for login or marketing purposes.  Without your real email address this limits your exposure when a company’s email database is hacked and it also helps decrease spam.

More Privacy For Everyone

There are several other new Privacy features worth mentioning:

Mail Privacy Protection – Prevents tracking your location, time and interaction with emails. This greatly reduces the benefits of  email marketing campaigns and will hopefully result in less junk mail.

App Privacy Report – Tracks the behaviour of Apps you’ve granted permissions to. A report will show how often they accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts and other data. You can also see all the third party domains the App is sharing your data with.

Siri – All audio will be processed on the device. No audio recording or live voice data is sent to Apple. On device processing also makes Siri respond and execute commands faster. Sadly, none of this will make Siri less stupid 🙁

Account Recovery – You can now designate people you trust to verify your identity when you need to reset your Apple ID. These trusted people will have no access to your data.

Digital Legacy – No one plans on dying, but it tends to happen anyway, and when it does family and friends are often unable to get into your devices to access important information. Now, you will be able to designate Legacy Contacts that can request access to your data.

It’s Not All Good News

Of course, there are downsides to everything.

When a search engine can’t pinpoint your geographical position, it has a hard time showing you neighborhood specific information. If Google thinks you are in Alaska a search for ‘local restaurants’ will provide pretty useless results.

Marketers may result to a brute force approach to reach consumers by burying them in emails. Who can say how a wounded, cornered marketer will react 🙂

iCloud+ is free for paid iCloud subscribers only. Considering the bottom tier is $.99 cents a month, the new iCloud+ features may make it worth springing for.

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