Apple announces huge privacy updates to Siri and iCloud at WWDC

Apple Privacy Day Privacy Logo
Apple Privacy Day Privacy Logo (Image credit: Apple)

Apple Iphone12pro Springboard Translate Siri Ipadpro Siri Springboard Response Billie Eillish

Apple Iphone12pro Springboard Translate Siri Ipadpro Siri Springboard Response Billie Eillish (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple announces some major privacy updates at WWDC.
  • The updates focus on Mail, Siri, and iCloud.

Apple has announced some major updates to its privacy protections across its user experiences at WWDC21.

"Privacy has been central to our work at Apple from the very beginning," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "Every year, we push ourselves to develop new technology to help users take more control of their data and make informed decisions about whom they share it with. This year's updates include innovative features that give users deeper insights and more granular control than ever before."

The first thing that Apple is focusing on with privacy is Mail Privacy Protection for iCloud Mail. The new feature hides your IP address from senders so you can't be linked to other online activity. It will also prevent them from receiving location data or see exactly when you opened the email.

Apple is also now hiding your IP address in Safari, which means you can't be linked to other online activity or have your location tracked.

These anti-tracking measures are also being added to the App Privacy report, those nutrition labels that show how private-focused apps are in the App Store. You can now even see what third-party domains the app is contacting so you can see where your data is going.

Apple Iphone12pro Mail New Message Hide My Email

Apple Iphone12pro Mail New Message Hide My Email (Image credit: Apple)

Siri is also getting some privacy improvements this year. Apple is bringing on-device speech recognition to Siri so that, by default, your audio interaction with Siri never leaves your devices. You'll also be able to now make a lot more requests from Siri without needing an internet connection. These new features will also mean that Siri will get much faster at answering your requests as well.

iCloud is even getting in on the privacy updates this year. You'll now be able to add a recovery contact like a family member or friend so, if you forget your password, you can send a code their way to help you get back into your account. Apple is also supporting legacy accounts so you can request access for deceased relatives to get photos and things that are important for the family to have access to after the person has passed away.

Apple Iphone12pro App Privacy

Apple Iphone12pro App Privacy (Image credit: Apple)

Apple is also introducing a new service called iCloud+ with is basically a privacy relay. The traffic leaving your devices is encrypted and you can choose to do things like hiding your email. The service also supports some of the things you would expect like HomeKit Secure Video. It will be included in the existing iCloud prices.

Apple says that it views privacy as a human right, and it certainly doubled down on that idea at WWDC this year.

All of the new features announced today will be available to developers as a beta starting today, to public beta users in July, and to all users this fall.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.