Here are Steps to Take to Protect Your Privacy on Apple Devices

· Andrew Orr · Link

iMessage icon Alexander Shatov

Macinstruct published a brief guide on protecting your privacy on Apple devices as a response to Apple’s CSAM detection plans.

We’re now encouraging readers to protect their privacy by disabling certain Apple features. In situations where privacy is a hard requirement, it may be necessary to consider using non-Apple hardware and software. This article provides an overview of our recommendations and your options.

It’s a decent guide except for the recommendation to disable iMessage in favor of SMS. iMessage is end-to-end encrypted, SMS is not. My advice for iMessage privacy is to prevent Messages from storing content in iCloud. When that happens, Apple has the capability to decrypt texts. On an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Profile Name > iCloud, and turn off the toggle for Messages. Then go to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages. Change it to auto-delete old messages after 30 days. Or, use a private messenger such as Signal.

Examining Apple's Carefree Attitude Towards Employee Privacy

· Andrew Orr · Link

Surveillance camera spying on people

Zoe Schiffer, writing for The Verge, investigates Apple employees and “the blurring of personal and work accounts.”

This is how it starts: a new Apple employee is told during onboarding that collaborating with their colleagues will require them to make extensive use of iCloud storage, and their manager offers a two terabyte upgrade. This will link their personal Apple ID to their work account — in fact, the instructions for accessing this upgrade explicitly say “you must link your personal Apple ID with your AppleConnect work account.”

Private Search Engine 'Xayn' Releases Web Version of its App

· Andrew Orr · Link

xayn private search engine

An AI company based in Berlin, Germany called Xayn has launched a web version of its private search engine app.

Both versions of Xayn use Masked Federated Learning to protect users’ data privacy while still providing them with an individually tailored web experience. They are created with the same code base in Flutter, a developing framework that’s designed to function both on mobile and web. The team transferred the AI to work directly in the respective browsers with high speed via WebAssembly so that all personal data stays privately within the browsers.

Looks like it doesn’t work yet on Safari.

AdGuard: 'People Should be Worried About Apple CSAM Detection'

· Andrew Orr · Link

adguard CSAM detection twitter poll

Adblocking company AdGuard is the latest to offer commentary on Apple’s controversial decision to detect CSAM in iCloud Photos. The team ponders ways to block it using their AdGuard DNS technology.

We consider preventing uploading the safety voucher to iCloud and blocking CSAM detection within AdGuard DNS. How can it be done? It depends on the way CSAM detection is implemented, and before we understand it in details, we can promise nothing particular.

Who knows what this base can turn into if Apple starts cooperating with some third parties? The base goes in, the voucher goes out. Each of the processes can be obstructed, but right now we are not ready to claim which solution is better and whether it can be easily incorporated into AdGuard DNS. Research and testing are required.

The CSAM Question No One Is Asking Apple

· John Kheit · Devil's Advocate

Apple's Spying Eye

Why is everyone afraid to ask Apple a simple question? Since Apple contends it is only scanning your iPhone for photos you choose to upload to iCloud, why does Apple need to scan anything on your device? Apple, can scan the photos once they are on its servers. The most obvious possibility is dystopian.

IMF: Credit Scores Should be Based on Browsing History

· Andrew Orr · Link

Safari icon in mac dock

As if reality couldn’t be more dystopian, researchers for the International Monetary Fund proposed that credit scores should include data from peoples’ browsing, search, and purchase history.

Citing soft-data points like “the type of browser and hardware used to access the internet, the history of online searches and purchases” that could be incorporated into evaluating a borrower, the researchers believe that when a lender has a more intimate relationship with the potential client’s history, they might be more willing to cut them some slack.

What an insane, stupid idea. Too poor to afford a Mac? Sorry! Your credit score won’t be rising above 600.

Secure Chat App ‘Signal’ Announces Default Disappearing Messages

· Andrew Orr · Link

Signal default disappearing messages

Signal, a messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption, introduced a feature to let you have all of your messages disappear by default.

Until now, disappearing messages had to be enabled on a per-conversation basis, but for those who want to take ephemerality to the fullest, Signal now supports the ability to preconfigure all conversations you initiate with a default timer.

We’ve also added the ability to set custom timer durations on your conversations, so that some content can be gone in 60 seconds and others can exist for 18 minutes or 4 weeks.