Apple guns for Facebook with new ‘Sign in with Apple’ privacy feature [Update]

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Sign in with Apple
"Sign in with Apple" is a new privacy feature in iOS 13.
Photo: Alfred Ng

WWDC 2019 bug Update: Apple says “Sign in with Apple” will be mandatory for third-party apps that require sign-ins, according to these new App Store guidelines. That means apps that currently use Facebook or Google to sign in will also have to support “Sign in with Apple.”

“It will be required as an option for users in apps that support third-party sign-in when it is commercially available later this year,” the new guidelines say.

Apple is targeting Facebook with a new privacy feature in iOS 13 that privately logs users into third-party apps and services.

Called “Sign in with Apple,” it aims to replace popular cross-web login services like ones offered by Facebook and Google.

The new privacy feature prevents third-party apps and web services from tracking users via their logins. It creates private, disposable logins for every service or app.

Logins are frequently used to track users, noted Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, during Monday’s WWDC 2019 keynote.

“Now we have the solution,” he said. “It’s called ‘Sign in with Apple.'”

Sign in with Apple adds privacy to convenience

Federighi said the feature is a “fast, easy way to sign in without tracking.”

Sign in with Apple is entirely private, too. Thanks to a new API, users are authenticated with Apple’s Face ID. No personal info is collected.

However, sometimes it is useful to log in to a service, and Apple allows the service to ask for some info, like an email address. If, however, the user doesn’t want to share their real email address, “Sign in with Apple” will create a random email that forwards to the user’s real email address. The real email, however, is never shared with the third-party app/service.

Federighi noted that each app gets a unique, random address, which is easily disabled when the user tires of hearing from that app or service.

The new feature got a big cheer from developers.

“This entire experience is designed to give you control over your data,” said Federighi.

On Twitter, some users were already saying goodbye to Facebook, which they use to log in to other sites and services.