‘Sign In With Apple’ Promises a Solution to Google and Facebook's Sleazy Tracking Practices

Illustration for article titled ‘Sign In With Apple’ Promises a Solution to Google and Facebooks Sleazy Tracking Practices
Screenshot: Andrew Liszewki

Apple’s privacy push continued on Monday when the company announced “Sign in with Apple,” a login service meant to block all the tracking that comes with social logins like Facebook and Google’s login.

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The feature is coming as part of the iOS 13 launch in fall 2019.

Sign in with Apple is “the fast and easy way to sign in without all the tracking,” Apple Vice President Craig Federighi said during the company’s World Wide Developer Conference in San Jose on Monday.

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As is typically the case with big tech conferences like this, there are some significant open questions. The new “Sign in with Apple” works on iOS but can it work on the web?

The biggest applause of the entire event came when Federighi announced one feature for its sign in feature: Random addresses.

Typically, when you sign in with a social login, an app or website will learn your email address. Apple lets you share your email if you like or, if you’d rather not, you can generate a random email address unique to that specific app that can be turned off quickly. It’s a smart jab against spam: Not only will you be able to turn off spammy email more easily, but you’ll also be able to see who exactly is sharing and selling your email widely when that random address starts to get spam from companies buying up data.

Apple’s sign in service is a shot across the bow at trackers and social logins. If the new service succeeds, it could potentially shut off — or at least limit— a serious source of data for companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

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Finally, belatedly, privacy is a real competitive pressure in Silicon Valley. We’ll see where it leads.

Reporter in Silicon Valley. Contact me: Email poneill@gizmodo.com, Signal +1-650-488-7247

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DISCUSSION

matt975321
matt975321

Interesting, but which Apps or Websites want to give Apple full control over access to you? That means they can’t e-mail you....

So what will Apple do to “sell this”, of course, use the Appstore guidelines to force you to offer this log-in method to your App (perhaps if some prerequisites are met first... e.g. such as you offer another method from Amazon, Facebook, Google, or etc).

Now how will Apple monetize this? Very simply... Once vendors no longer have your e-mail they have no way to reach out to you for marketing purposes, meaning that they will be limited to reaching out to you via the App to sell you anything, which.... drum-roll... means you will need to let your users use an in-App payment method to sell them anything. Oh, right, Apple gets 30% of that.