Uganda excluded from new iOS 15 privacy features

Apple unveiled new features that are yet to come on iOS 15 during its Worldwide Developer’s Conference 2021 event in June this year. Among the highly anticipated features are the powerful new privacy protections which will help users better control and manage their data. And also protect them from entities that track user data.

Also read: How to quickly install the iOS 15 public beta on your iPhone

Apple continues to show its commitment towards privacy and to encourage change in the industry. However, due to regulatory concerns, the feature will be unavailable in Uganda and African countries like Egypt and South Africa. Other countries across the world like China, Belarus, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, and the Philippines will be excluded from the feature.

It is no surprise that the mentioned countries especially those in Africa appear on this list as they are popular for heavy censorship and outrightly blocked access to the internet in recent times. Early this year, Uganda experienced a complete internet shutdown during what was known as a very tense election period.

Even as the internet was restored partially after 5 days, Facebook one of the most frequently used social media platforms remains shut down in Uganda. This happens as a result of the company’s decision to block pro-government accounts that violated the rules of using the platform. The affected were accused of manipulation of public debate ahead of the elections yet to take place.

Read also: Facebook is officially blocked in Uganda because of the ban on pro-government accounts.

Egypt that makes it to this list is well known for ordering the blocking of hundreds of websites that belong to news outlets, blogs, human rights organisations, and tools such as virtual private networks used to bypass the blockades. 

The iOS 15 private relay feature

You could be wondering what the private relay feature is. Well, let’s get into the details. The new private relay is a feature designed to obscure a user’s web browsing behaviour from internet service providers and advertisers.

Apple’s “private relay” feature first sends web traffic to a server maintained by Apple, where it is stripped of a piece of information called an IP address. From there, Apple sends the traffic to a second server maintained by a third-party operator who assigns the user a temporary IP address and sends the traffic onward to its destination website.

By excluding this feature in some countries, means Apple’s customers in those countries will not experience the same protections as other customers. Hence leaving them exposed to continued tracking of users’ data by advertisers and other third parties.

Apple maintains that this will be happening due to regulatory reasons in the mentioned countries. This is seen however as a compromise on the privacy of consumers in these countries.

Read more: How to allow or block iPhone apps from tracking you in iOS 14.5 with these easy steps

Read more: Apple Pay Later: How about getting an iPhone and you pay later?

READ: NetQ-UG by UCC helps you monitor data bundle usage

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