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App Tracking Transparency will be part of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5. It’s already showing up in betas.
App Tracking Transparency stops developers tracking users without their permission.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Apple thinks antitrust reform could create ‘race to the bottom’ for security

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Privacy
Apple says proposed antitrust regulation would endanger consumer privacy.
Photo: Apple

Apple thinks five pieces of antitrust reform legislation could undermine innovation and competition in tech, as well as creating a “race to the bottom” for security and privacy. Apple laid out its concerns in a letter sent ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the proposed laws.

The letter — sent to chairmen Jerrold Nadler and David Cicilline, and ranking members Jim Jordan and Ken Buck — lays out Apple’s arguments for why the government needs to reconsider the five bills.

Brave browser bravely takes on Google with privacy-focused search

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Brave browser bravely takes on Google with privacy-focused search
Try Brave Search if you’re trying to prevent Google from tracking everything you do online.
Photo: Brave

A public beta of a privacy-preserving search engine from Brave debuted Tuesday. It doesn’t track users, their searches or their clicks.

It is, of course, entering into a David vs. Goliath fight with Google, which dominates the search business with a more than 90% share.

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Tim Cook at WWDC 2021
Tim Cook (shown here at WWDC 2021) is not a fan of sideloading iPhone apps.
Screenshot: Apple

Tim Cook calls Apple’s privacy features a ‘fundamental human right’

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Privacy
Privacy is baked into everything Apple does.
Photo: Privacy

In a new video aimed at the European market, Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about how “privacy is a fundamental human right” that his company works hard to embed into every new product it makes. The six-minute video comprises various clips from Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference related to the topic of privacy. Cook also recorded new bookends in which he shares some of his own thoughts.

Check it out below.

Private Relay makes paying $1 a month for iCloud a bargain

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Private Relay makes paying $1 a month for iCloud a bargain
Private Relay protects your online privacy. It’s the best part of Apple’s new iCloud+.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Private Relay is the latest way Apple devices can protect your privacy. The service, a part of iCloud+, makes it much harder for the websites you visit to track you.

Unlike many of Apple’s privacy services, it’s not free. But the new iCloud+ service costs very little and comes bundled with iCloud storage at no additional cost. And it comes with some other privacy benefits, too.

9 things that blew us away at WWDC 2021

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Apple CEO Tim Cook wraps the WWDC21 keynote on June 7, 2021.
Apple CEO Tim Cook wraps the WWDC21 keynote on June 7, 2021.
Photo: Apple

Some new features really stood out when Apple revealed the next versions of all its operating systems during Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. Users of iPhone, Mac and iPad, and Apple Watch, too, can look forward to welcome improvements this fall.

We picked out the best of these to make sure they don’t get overlooked.

Apple adds powerful new privacy features to Mail and more

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Apple Privacy Slide from WWDC 2021
Apple is taking even more shots at advertisers in the WWDC 2021 Privacy updates
Screenshot: Apple

Apple is bringing big privacy-focused changes to its Mail app and other parts of its ecosystem, the company said Monday.

“At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP of software engineering. “We don’t think you should have to make a tradeoff between great features and privacy. We believe you deserve both.”

How to hide likes and view counts on Facebook and Instagram

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How to hide likes and views on Facebook and Instagram
Not interested in likes? Get rid of them.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Facebook and Instagram have added the ability to hide likes and view counts — a feature that’s been in the works for a while. You can block counts on your own posts and well as on those from others.

We’ll show you how to enable the setting inside Facebook and Instagram for iPhone and iPad.

Apple makes it harder for creeps to use AirTags for stalking

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Apple AirTag finally jumped from rumor to reality.
It’s getting easier to find a hidden AirTag being used to stalk someone.
Photo: Apple

Apple moved to address many of the privacy concerns raised after the release of AirTags. The item trackers launched with anti-stalking features, but a new firmware update is tightening them up further.

AirTags will start more quickly warning people if they’re being used to follow someone. And an Android app that can detect these trackers is in development.