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

Apple Black Friday Sale Released
Apple Black Friday Sale Released
The Apple Store Black Friday 2014 deals are online. You can shop the Apple Gift Card Bundles now.
 
 
Apple Continues to Depend on Samsung
Apple Continues to Depend on Samsung
Despite previous speculation, Apple still relies on Samsung for the production of the components of its major devices
 
 
Apple Black Friday Deals are on Sale in MacMall Black Friday 2014 Sale
 
 
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
Over 20 Black Friday 2014 sales are already launched. Get the deals early to get your head free for the hard to get Black Friday deals to be released on Thanksgiving Day.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Apple Black Friday Sale Released
The Apple Black Friday 2014 Sale has launched online at the Apple Store. Apple has announced a huge charity promotion to fight AIDS for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Apple will donate a portion of the sales the company...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
A look at Black Friday video game deals
All major retailers will be getting in the video game Black Friday spirit. PS4 and XBox One will certainly be two consoles that should garner huge sales but actual games should do good as well. One thing that is for...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Comics looking for event filled Black Friday
While video games and other electronic gadgets look to be the big draw on deals during Black Friday, comic book readers and fans will be able to find their fair share of deals as well. It has been announced that two...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Anna Kendrick positive after nude photo leak
Anna Kendrick is looking at the positives following the recent hacking of her nude photos. The 'Pitch Perfect' star - whose naked pictures were posted online by hackers earlier this year alongside other stars like...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Benedict Cumberbatch hates selfies
Benedict Cumberbatch hates selfies. The 'Imitation Game' actor - who recently announced his engagement to Sophie Hunter - won't be personally taking any photos of him and his bride on their wedding day and instead would...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
James Franco filmed threesome with Zachary Quinto
James Franco and Zachary Quinto filmed a threesome for their new film 'Michael'. The actors took part in the sexy scene alongside the former 'Desperate Housewives' star Charlie Carver for the upcoming drama, according...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
UN condemns attack on British embassy vehicle
United Nations, Nov 28 (IANS) The UN Security Council (UNSC) has condemned the attack on a British embassy vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan. "The members of the UNSC expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Not all mosquitoes can transmit malaria
New York, Nov 28 (IANS) A genetic study has revealed that certain species of mosquitoes have evolved to better transmit malaria than even some of their close cousins. The study may advance understanding about the...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Rio judge ends Olympic golf course impasse
Rio de Janeiro, Nov 28 (IANS) A Rio de Janeiro judge has rejected a request by public prosecutors to suspend an environmental permit for work on the 2016 Olympic golf course. Judge Eduardo Antonio Klausner said there...
Read more on Sport Balla