Apple Beefs Up iOS 8 Security In Preparation For Launch Of Secure Smartphone Competition

Jun 10 2014, 11:24am CDT | by

The iPhone 6 could be Apple’s most secure smartphone to date thanks to iOS 8’s new privacy upgrades. The new OS has two new features in particular that show that Apple has responded to this new wave of enthusiasm for smartphone security.

The first is that location trackers won’t be able to duplicate data from anything running iOS 8. What that means is that when iOS 8 is looking for a Wi-Fi connection, it will randomise your MAC address (otherwise known as MAC spoofing), and effectively disguise any trace of the real device until it choses to connect to a network.

Usually phones ping out the MAC address when looking for a connection and the signal is tracked by people and companies looking to pinpoint your exact location. It’s essentially a leak in your phone’s security armour from which an entire industry has been built upon, as the New York Times revealed last year.

Fashion retailer Nordstrom began exploiting the flaw and tracking their customers’ location within the store and using that information to see their shopping habits.  Other stores like Mothercare, Benetton and Family Dollar have used similar technology to track their customers, but this new iOS 8 feature will bring an end to that entirely.

The second is cracking down on spammers and advertising in the App Store, as TechCrunch reported yesterday. Some developers are receiving rejection notices from Apple’s app review team because their software is excessively asking users to share its app on Facebook to receive in-game bonuses.

There’s also the issue of Apple rejecting apps that promote other apps and ones that have over-the-top built-in  advertising. Apple’s guidelines aren’t exactly clear on what is and what isn’t acceptable, but it appears that it has moved the goal posts in-favour of less spam.

Why exactly is Apple taking this route? Competition is the simple answer. Privacy has been on the top of the tech agenda and dominated headlines since Snowden’s revelations last year and companies have been scrambling to prove their security credentials. We’re also seeing a new wave of smartphones hitting the shelves that are entirely geared, and built around, security.

The Blackphone was an unexpected hit at the Mobile World Congress this year. It didn’t have a big glitzy launch show like Samsung or Nokia, but it did have queues of journalists waiting next to its small, hidden away, booth. There’s also the Boeing Black and the FreedomPop Privacy Phone that are offering similar services to the Blackphone.

These phones don’t broadcast your MAC address, they let you manage app permissions, they let you communicate and transfer files securely and they don’t collect your data. Apple has recognised the rising popularity for these services and that’s why it has, in one update, eliminated the location tracking industry and aimed its crosshairs at app-advertising and spam. Expect others to follow suit.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Number crunching may make people selfish
Toronto, Sep 16 (IANS) People with a "calculative mindset" as a result of number crunching are more likely to engage in selfish and unethical behaviour, suggests a study.
 
 
A novel way to spot dyslexia in kids
New York, Sep 16 (IANS) There could soon be a tool to spot kids at risk of developing reading difficulties before they experience the challenges as researchers have found that white matter volume in the brain is key to development of reading abilities.
 
 
Early Earth had conditions similar to present day: Study
Washington, Sep 16 (IANS) Conditions on the Earth for the first 500 million years after its formation may have been surprisingly similar to present day conditions - complete with oceans, continents and active crustal plates, report geologists.
 
 
'Cell-like' structure points towards life on Mars
London, Sep 16 (IANS) A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old has made a strong case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Rain takes toll on Pakistan's historical sites
Islamabad, Sep 16 (IANS) Pakistan's monsoon rain, which started Sep 3 and has ravaged human populations since then, has taken a toll on ancient ruins as well, media reported Tuesday. Archaeologists say the ancient...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Number crunching may make people selfish
Toronto, Sep 16 (IANS) People with a "calculative mindset" as a result of number crunching are more likely to engage in selfish and unethical behaviour, suggests a study. Repeated engagement with number-focused...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Matt Damon set to return as Jason Bourne
Matt Damon is being lined up to reprise the role of Jason Bourne. Deadline reports that the 43-year-old actor and director Paul Greengrass have entered into discussions with Universal Pictures to reunite for their third...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Alonso a hit after only two matches with Bayern Munich
Berlin, Sep 16 (IANS/EFE) Xabi Alonso's Bayern Munich career has barely begun, but Julius Caesar's "veni, vidi, vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered) applies equally well to the Spaniard's arrival in Germany, as he has...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
A novel way to spot dyslexia in kids
New York, Sep 16 (IANS) There could soon be a tool to spot kids at risk of developing reading difficulties before they experience the challenges as researchers have found that white matter volume in the brain is key to...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
20 militants killed in Pakistan airstrikes
Islamabad, Sep 16 (IANS) At least 20 militants were killed Tuesday during airstrikes in Pakistan's Khyber Agency area. According to an official, the strikes targeted Tor Dara, Tirah, Jatoi and Rajgal areas of the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Ishikawa adds sparkle to Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship
Tokyo, Sep 16 (IANS) Japanese ace Ryo Ishikawa is set to add more sparkle to the already-strong field when the Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup gets underway next week. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Thousands of Serbs greet silver-winning basketball team
Belgrade, Sep 16 (IANS) Serbian national basketball team that won silver medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup was welcomed here by tens of thousands of people in front of the City Assembly. Upon their arrival at the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Eight killed in China road accident
Beijing, Sep 16 (IANS) At least eight people were killed and six injured Tuesday when a truck crashed into a bus stop in China's Hebei province. The accident occurred in Hebei province's Zhangjiakou city, Xinhua...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Ghana appoints 2017 African Nations Cup bidding committee
Accra, Sep 16 (IANS) Ghana's Minister of Youth and Sports Mahama Ayariga appointed an 11-member committee to work towards securing the right to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2017). Additionally, six...
Read more on Sport Balla