What the Tech? 'Sign in with Apple' offering more protection to user privacy
When Tim Cook announced iOS 13 earlier this year many Apple fans were most excited about its new live streaming service, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, its game subscription that launches this week. People who are constantly concerned with privacy and security listened closely as Apple executives talked about Sign in With Apple.
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It isn't as exciting as the other features but it may be the most important step Apple has taken to help save us from ourselves. It's eliminating the need for some passwords.
When you download a new app you may see a prompt to "Sign up" with Facebook or Google. We are all aware that those companies earn revenue by selling information to third-party companies, sharing information with advertisers who can know where we are at any moment and what we purchase or what we search on the web. We do it anyway of course. It's faster. The only other way to sign up for those apps is by submitting an email address or username and another password we have to remember.
Sign in With Apple allows iPhone, iPad, Mac, TV OS and Watch OS users to sign up for and sign in to online accounts. It doesn't come out until iOS 13 is released Friday but I've had a chance to use it for the past couple of days.
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The option appears just after you install and open a new app. When I installed the app Kitchen Stories, "Sign in With Apple" appeared just above "Sign in with Facebook" and "Sign in With Email.” When I chose the Apple option, I was prompted to use my Apple ID for sign-in. I could also change the username, which I did.
Apple also gives me the option to either share my email address with the company or hide it. Apple's new private email relay allows the company to send me emails without actually having or seeing my email address.
Why is Sign in With Apple better than us logging in or on with Facebook or Google? Privacy and security. Apple says it won't track how we're using the app or website and that the only data it collects is our email address and username.
With Facebook and Google, those companies share any information they can gain from us to sell ads. Companies that we give access to our Facebook accounts can see anything we post there publicly. Apps can also track our steps, see everyone in our contacts list and who knows what else.
Apple, love it or hate it, is in the business of selling devices and services. While survey after survey shows people have a lack of trust in Facebook and Google for keeping our information secure, Apple's success needs public trust.
Sign in With Apple is one of the most secure ways to sign up for new accounts and it's fast.