What you need to know
- Russians are reporting that iCloud Private Relay is no longer supported in their country.
- The iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey feature is supposed to help keep users' data private during internet usage.
As spotted by people on Twitter and reported by iPhones.ru, the feature was available but now no longer works, with Apple telling users that iCloud Private Relay is not supported in the country.
Apple's iCloud Private Relay feature is designed to help keep users' browsing data private by first connecting you to an Apple-owned relay, then back out to the internet via a third-party-owned relay, before forwarding you to the website you want to see. That prevents anyone from seeing which websites people you're accessing. Anyone really looking will see that someone is connecting to a website, but they won't know who. We have an iCloud Private Relay explainer if you're looking for the technical details.
Why Apple has disabled the feature in Russia isn't clear and we don't yet know whether this is a temporary situation or a change in policy. Apple has already said that iCloud Private Relay won't be available in all countries, but it seems odd to make it available and then remove it during the beta process.
Apple will make iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 available on Monday, September 20. Who knows whether Apple will have re-enabled Russian access to its internet privacy feature by then.
iMore has reached out to Apple for comment on the reasons behind disabling iCloud Private Relay and awaits a response.