Private Relay en el punto de mira de las "telecos" de UK.

Private Relay in the crosshairs of the UK “telcos”.

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One of the great successes of iOS 15 is, without a doubt, Private RelayAs we already told you in September of last year, when this version of the operating system began to reach users, those from Cupertino once again put the focus on privacy, as we had previously seen in iOS 14. And one of the points Strong in this regard is Private Relay, Apple’s virtual private network service included in iCloud+, with which users can count on an extra layer of privacy.

The operation of Private Relay, as we told you at the time, is similar to other VPN services, which provides an encrypted “tunnel” between the device and the service’s servers, from which all user traffic on the Internet comes and goes. In this way, the user’s IP address is hidden from those services that are accessed and, in the same way, Internet access operators do not have information about the sites and services that their users are accessing.

There are some differences with paid VPN servicesamong which it undoubtedly stands out that, unlike these, Private Relay does not allow the user to choose through which country he wants to “go out” to the Internet, one of the reasons why these services have become so popular, since They allow users to access pages, content and services that are limited to certain regions or, on the contrary, banned in others.

It seems, however, that the telecommunications operators in the United Kingdom, the “telcos” that provide mobile Internet access to users, did not like Private Relay at allto the point that they have published a report that they have sent to the British market and competition regulator, in order to make it see that, according to their approach, Apple’s privacy service violates free competition, makes Apple assume a role that does not correspond to it and even has unwanted side effects for the users themselves.

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, grouped in Mobile UK, state that «Apple users have experienced a worse browsing experience when using Private Relay«. A) Yes, according to said report, this performance decline would have led users to stop using Safari, pushing them to use other apps they can find on the App Store, allowing Apple to pocket a commission. Yes, this argument comes from that report, and it’s worth giving it a spin.

Private Relay in the crosshairs of the "telecoms" from UK.

The browser market is currently divided between Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave and little else. All those browsers, both in its desktop and mobile versions, they are totally free. And, in the case of iOS, by Apple policiesthey all use the Webkit engine. Put another way, this possible occurrence of Private Relay does not translate into App Store fee income. Moreover, it seems to me such a childish argument that I see it as inappropriate for an organization like Mobile UK.

On the other hand, the organization also states that, with Private Relay, since Apple’s servers are the ones that provide the user with access to the Internet, Apple becomes de facto Internet access provider, an ISPand that consequently service and company should be subject to the same regulations and legal framework as these companies, which in this role would be reduced to simple gateways that provide connectivity from the terminal to the network access service provider, which would be Manzana.

But are these really Mobile UK’s problems with Private Relay? I would understand that I missed you, since the same thing happened to me. So let’s go to some other points of the report:

«Network providers would no longer be able to use web traffic data through Safari to develop their own digital products and services that directly supplement Apple. For example, a network provider might stop having access to information about a user’s content viewing habits to develop its own content that competes with Apple TV. Similarly, a network provider may no longer be able to share information about consumers with third parties that provide digital advertising services in competition with Apple Search Ads.»

Wow! This is now a little better understood. What really annoys Private Relay operators is that prevents them from knowing and analyzing the browsing habits and content consumption of their users, let’s finish! With nuances, but I think that we find, in this case, with a response to Private Relay similar to that of Facebook when Apple released iOS 14.5, allowing users to quickly and easily not allow tracking by the apps.

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