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!
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