Apple is rolling out iOS 15 on September 20, with a bunch of new privacy features

Apple said at the Apple Event yesterday that iOS 15 will be released on Monday, September 20, with a bunch of new privacy features. The iPhone-maker first unveiled the new features like Hide My Email at WWDC 2021 in June. 

One of the new iOS 15 privacy features is Mail Privacy Protection which allows iOS users to hide their IP addresses so email senders can’t link them to users’ other online activity or determine their location. It also prevents senders from seeing if and when a user has opened an email. 

It is assumed that in-mail link clicks will become increasingly important as Mail Privacy Protection will hamper email open rates, which are already used as a measure of success in email marketing campaigns.

According to Digiday, platforms like Omnisend, have started talking to clients about pivoting email marketing to accommodate Apple’s latest changes. Recommendations include cleaning up current email lists to remove unresponsive contacts, focusing on stepping up their own first-party data, prioritizing opt-in messaging where users can choose if they’d like to receive email communication from advertisers, and personalizing messages so users are more likely to interact. 

Another privacy feature that Apple has previously announced will come with iOS 15 is Private Relay. It is an iCloud service that makes sure Safari traffic is encrypted and uses two separate internet relays so that other companies cannot capture personal data, including IP address, browsing history, and location. 

According to Apple developer notes, for now, Private Relay won’t be turned on by default, but instead appears to be “released as a public beta to gather additional feedback and improve website compatibility.”

Earlier this month, Apple started showing prompts to iOS 15 beta testers asking if they want to turn on ‘Personalized Ads’ in its own apps including the App Store and Apple News. Previously, Apple’s ad targeting, which it calls ‘Personalized Ads’, was enabled by default and users had to head to their Settings to turn it off. Now, when users install iOS 15, they will be asked if they want to opt in to Apple’s own ads. 

Building on the App Tracking Transpacency framework, iOS 15 will also include the App Privacy Report which gives users an overview of how apps treat their privacy. First announced in June, App Privacy Report will allow users to see how often apps use the permission users have granted to access their location, photos, Camera, Microphone, and Contacts during the last seven days. The feature will come to iOS 15 but it is expected to arrive in a later update, not at the roll out. 

Starting Monday, anyone with an iPhone 6S generation and later will have the option to install iOS 15 as a free download. The new iPhone 13 will automatically run iOS 15.

Written by Jordan Bevan


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