Yesterday’s “public release of macOS High Sierra brings with it some key updates to Safari — including the ability to disable cross-site cookie tracking and turn off autoplaying ads,” Brian Heater reports for TechCrunch. “Arriving alongside those features is a less publicized new addition to Apple’s proprietary browser: data collection. The company is using its newly implemented differential privacy technology to gather information from user habits that will help it identify problematic websites.”

“This form of data collection is the first of its kind for Safari, aimed at identifying sites that use excessive power and crash the browser by monopolizing too much memory,” Heater reports. “Differential privacy is a method for collecting large swaths of information without grabbing any personally identifying data in the process, so none of the information can be traced back to the user.”

“Apple has already used differential privacy for some relatively low-level applications, including predictive text in keyboards, emoji usage and search predictions. As such, the technology is already part of the company’s Device Analytics program,” Heater reports. “It’s an opt-in box that you can choose to tick, depending on whether you want to send that information to Apple, much like you would with the company’s crash reporting. As such, Apple won’t be prompting users with an additional sign up or notification marking the new data collection in Safari.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Protecting your privacy by mining your data (anonymously). Only Apple!

SEE ALSO:
Apple explains how it’s making Siri smarter without endangering user privacy – September 11, 2017
Apple’s cutting-edge ‘differential privacy’ is opt-in – June 24, 2016
Apple’s cutting-edge ‘differential privacy’ offers unique option for technology users – June 20, 2016
Apple’s use of cutting-edge tech will peek at user habits without violating privacy – June 16, 2016
Apple unveils iOS 10, the mother of all iOS releases – June 13, 2016
Apple previews major update with macOS Sierra – June 13, 2016