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‘Sign In with Apple’ to protect peace of mind?

Apple’s rebranding as a privacy-first company continued this week its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose.

At the event, Apple announced a new ‘Sign In with Apple‘ system to promote the safety, privacy and peace of mind (digital wellbeing) of users. Rather than enter and share personal data when signing up/in to an app or service, the new system offers fast, secure, and privacy-friendly way for users to set up an account and start using apps without any log-in or personal details being shared.

“A simple API allows a developer to add a ‘Sign in with Apple’ button right in their app. You just tap it, and you’re authenticated with FaceID on your device, logged in with a new account, without revealing any new personal information,”

Craig Federighi Apple SVP Software Engineering

Apps may still request users’ personal contact details, but the new sign-in system appears to be designed to make this voluntary and unnecessary. Instead, the system generates anonymised forwarding addresses for messages to get forwarded to your Apple account, retaining privacy and improving security.

The plan is for the new login system is to become mandatory for all new apps on the App Store requiring a third-party account.

In a world of ‘zero-trust’ and anxiety about privacy and security, ‘Sign-in with Apple’ may be the most significant announcement at WWDC 2019.

Written by
Dr Paul Marsden
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Digital wellbeing covers the latest scientific research on the impact of digital technology on human wellbeing. Curated by psychologist Dr. Paul Marsden (@marsattacks). Sponsored by WPP agency SYZYGY.