Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is fast approaching, and this year, like clock-work we are expecting the next iOS, iOS 13, to drop. I am currently running the latest iOS 12.3 beta on my iPhone 7+, and it is expected to be released this month, before WWDC this June. Whilst we do not have any clue as to what iOS 13 will bring us, though I have heard that there is a big iPad push for this release, I am hoping that there are more privacy oriented changes introduced.
Locking Down Safari
Safari with Intelligent Tracking Prevention is highly effective, along with support from third-party ad and tracker blockers like Better and 1Blocker X. However, Safari needs to ensure that sites should not be able to fingerprint the browser.
After upgrading to iOS 13, Apple should prompt the user to select their preferred search engine. For privacy, my preference is DuckDuckGo.
Third-party App Trackers
Apple should require app developers to fully disclose the third-party SDKs that their app uses, and its purpose. A lot of iOS applications have embedded trackers, disguised as analytics collector. Whilst there are valid analytics SDKs, users should know which applications use them to better understand where their personal data is going.
Personally, I have blocked quite a number of mobile app trackers on the network level, using Pi-Hole.net. This is not something that Safari and its third-party blockers can filter. Apple could provide a way to filter this on the device.
1-Day and 7-Days Message History
Messages provide an option to be retained for 30 days, 1 Year or Forever. Apple should add two more options, 1 Day and 7 Days, or even for 2 minutes, like an audio messages. This will allow the most private conversations to be deleted right away.
Locking down Photos access
Currently, Photos provide three access options for third party applications?—?Never, Add Photos Only and Read & Write. There are applications that only require temporary Read access. Apple can introduce timed-Read only access, say read access only for a day. I have applications, e.g., Twitter, that require temporary read access when I share a photo, but I don’t share photos every day.
Locking down Contacts access
Similarly, access to the Contacts need to be time-limited. Third party applications should also be restricted on which field(s) from your Contacts can be read. There are fields, e.g. birthdates, that might be read. In most cases, you share the name, along with either the phone number or e-mail address, with third party applications.
This is just a list of what I am hoping Apple will introduce on iOS 13 this June. Any other privacy-oriented feature is a welcome addition to one of the most privacy-oriented platform available in the market today.