Apple keeps prying eyes on Google out of iOS 14


Illustration for the article titled Apples Keep Google's Curious Eyes Out of iOS 14

Photo: Justin sullivan (fake images)

If you regularly use Apple’s Safari browseryou are probably familiar with his Fraudulent website warning,” which alerts you if the site you are about to visit could be, say, a elaborate phishing scam. What you probably didn’t know is that until now, this security feature relied on an obscure Google database to work. Now, as part of the privacy features that will be available soon Go out in ios 14It seems that Apple is breaking those ties completely.

MacRumors was the first to realize Some screenshots from the beta version of iOS 14.5 are exchanged on Reddit. that show clearly Apple uses its own servers as an intermediary between your phone and Google’s databases. As presented in the original poster, it appears that any web traffic in Safari stops at a new URL, “proxy.safebrowsing.apple”, before accessing Google’s own service.

In short, the “Google Safe BrowsingThe database is essentially a list of sites known to be fraudulent or unsafe in some way that Google constantly updates as it crawls the web. Non-Google applications, such as Safari, can engage to Google’s servers and receive a list of hashed or non-hashed prefixes from these scam sites. In doing so, any click instinctively pings Google’s servers to see if the web address being visited matches any of the names on this list. If they do, a warning flag is lit.

The problem here is that Google is, well, Google, and Apple has made a solid effort to protect privacy and data in the core from iOS 14 updates. Pinging Google’s servers this way, especially if those addresses are hashed, might not expose too much information other than your IP address or other bits of so-called “unidentifiable data, ”But at the end of the day, the data is still data and that data still goes to Google.

Earlier this week, Apple’s chief engineering officer for WebKit confirmed that Apple’s attempt to intercept this traffic is a way to “limit the risk of information leakage.” In other words, it’s a way to keep Google’s dirty hands off user data, no matter how innocuous the motive may seem..

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