iOS 16 could expand iCloud Private Relay to hide even more data

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As part of its new iCloud+ subscription service unveiled at WWDC 2021, Apple launched iCloud Private Relay and now with the launch of iOS 16, Apple plans to expand iCloud Private to hide even more data. This feature is designed to give users an additional layer of privacy and security by sending requests through two separate internet relays to mask user information.

The feature is currently available to iCloud+ subscribers as an opt-in “beta” feature, but a new report suggests that may change with iOS 16 this year…

A new report from Digiday this week cites “several sources” in saying that Apple is planning a handful of new features for iOS 16 this year to further crackdown on the tracking of user data. One of the industry sources cited in the article is Charles Manning, CEO of mobile analytics measurement company, Kochava.

Manning explained that he believes Apple will bolster its privacy focus by expanding Private Relay:

The logistical implications of policy enforcement combined with Apple’s legacy of creating technical guardrails indicate that they’ll be relying on Private Relay as the (or partial) technical enforcement mechanism.

I believe that Apple will announce that customers love Private Relays and that it has been such a success it will that they’re going to make it an always-on feature for in-app behavior.

At the moment, iCloud Private Relay mainly works for iCloud+ subscribers in regards to Safari traffic. There are certain features in Mail that do not work only in Safari but also for most other in-app traffic outside of Safari. Nevertheless, if the sources in this report are accurate, Apple might choose to expand Private Relay to include other in-app services as an always-on feature.

Keep in mind that Apple is already rerouting IP addresses for all Safari users when visiting HTTP-based websites, and this is already being done by Apple. There are several reasons for this rerouting; it is done for all users regardless of whether or not they are iCloud+ subscribers who have turned on iCloud Private Relay.

It remains unclear exactly what Apple is planning, but it is not surprising to hear that the company is preparing for further privacy-preserving changes soon. The possibility, as some sources have suggested, is that Apple may eliminate the practice of app fingerprinting altogether with iOS 16 but details on how it would be implemented are unclear.

Apple’s iOS 16

Two months from now, iOS 16 will be available for download. During the World Developer Conference or WWDC event of the Cupertino tech giant on June 6, there will be a sneak peek of the app.

That being said because the release of the iOS 15 predecessors is getting closer to its official launch, I expect that rumors and leaks will be released from time to time.

Especially when it comes to the most secretive tech giants in the world like Apple, it is the case for most upcoming, upcoming software and devices in the world of tech.

Is Apple planning to expand its iCloud private cloud services?

An article published by Digiday says that their sources are now saying that it is about to undergo a significant change in the future.

One of its sources was named by the news outlet. Charles Manning, founder, and CEO of mobile analytics measurement firm Kochava is the person behind this announcement.

Kochava’s exec predicts that Apple will likely announce that it has adopted the feature of iCloud Private Relay, or some variation thereof.

Also, Manning asserted that the iPhone manufacturer would be quick to acknowledge the feature as being a success, which he believes would be highly commended.

Despite all that, Kochava’s CEO believes that Apple is likely to extend the iCloud Private relay service to even more users, making it “an always-available feature for in-app behavior.”

One of the most interesting things about Private Relay is that it mainly supports traffic from Safari. It is for this reason that it has yet to cover other in-app traffic, i.e., traffic besides Apple’s web browser.

Taking advantage of that fact, there is still a lot of room for Apple to add more functionality to its iCloud Private Relay feature. Digiday reports several sources have told the site that the company will be rolling out its updates once iOS 16 becomes available.


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