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

Instagram launches messaging app
New York, July 30 (IANS) Social network Instagram has launched its messaging app called Bolt which makes sending visuals easy. The easy to use app allows you to tap once to send a photo and long press to send a video.
 
 
Eating tree nuts daily prolongs life
Toronto, July 30 (IANS) Include at least 50 grams of almonds, cashews, chestnuts, walnuts or pistachios in your diet to control blood fats (triglycerides) and sugars - two of the five markers for metabolic syndrome.
 
 
Sweetened beverages can impair memory
New York, July 30 (IANS) Limit your sugar-sweetened beverage intake if you are a teenager. An alarming study shows that daily consumption of beverages can impair your ability to learn and remember.
 
 
Menu design can spoil diners' mood
New York, July 30 (IANS) If you have ordered the wrong food at a restaurant, do not blame yourself. Curse the menu instead.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Drew Barrymore pays tribute to late half-sister
Drew Barrymore has paid tribute to her estranged older half-sister, who was found dead on Tuesday (07.29.14). The 39-year-old actress offered her sympathies to her extended family after Jessica Barrymore, whom she only...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
G7 warns Russia faces more sanctions
London, July 31 (IANS) The G7 leaders in a joint statement Wednesday said Russia will face further economic sanctions if it continued to support rebels in Ukraine. The warning came after the EU added eight more...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Kim Kardashian slams Rob's ex-girlfriend
London, July 31 (IANS) Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has hit out at brother Rob Kardashian's ex-girlfriend Adrienne Bailon for bad mouthing her sibling. Talking to a Latina magazine, the actress-and-singer, who dated...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kohli's significant dinner date with Vaughan (Analysis)
Southampton, July 31 (IANS/RAY) Tuesday night, India batsman and vice-captain Virat Kohli had dinner with Michael Vaughan, former England captain, at a Brazilian restaurant in Southampton. This was revealed by the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Few Americans believe US winning fight against terror: Poll
Washington, July 31 (IANS) Belief that the US is winning the fight against terrorism has dropped to its lowest level in more than a decade of regular tracking, a poll has found. A new Rasmussen Reports national...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Simon Cowell will be a great dad: Ex-girlfriend
Los Angeles, July 31 (IANS) Former Playboy model Carmen Electra says that her ex-boyfriend, Simon Cowell, will be a great father to his son Eric. The 54-year-old music mogul and his girlfriend, Lauren Silverman,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Reach out to others as friends: UN chief
United Nations, July 31 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon has called upon all to reach out to one another as friends and build long-term foundations for lasting peace in the time of mistrust and violence....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
When Rita Ora forgot her lines
Los Angeles, July 31 (IANS) Singer Rita Ora found acting "difficult" as she kept forgetting her lines while filming her scenes for the upcoming erotica "Fifty Shades of Grey". The 23-year-old singer, who is playing...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Christina Aguilera enjoys whimsical baby shower
Christina Aguilera ''felt so much love'' at her baby shower last weekend. The 33-year-old singer, who is expecting a baby girl with her fiancé, Matthew Rutler, celebrated the impending arrival of her second child with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kelsey Grammer forgives sister's killer
Kelsey Grammer testified at a parole hearing for his sister's murderer on Tuesday (07.29.14). The 59-year-old actor, whose wife Katya gave birth to their second child last week, forgave Freddie Glenn for kidnapping and...
Read more on Celebrity Balla