Apple touts privacy features of new operating systems


SYDELL: Well, he doesn't deny that Apple may very well have had access to this information, but he says they would have no reason to use it.

The upcoming versions of the software powering iPhone and Mac computers will block the use of so-called "cookies" from Facebook "like" buttons that can follow people from one website to another, Apple said.

"Data companies are clever and relentless", Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, said at the company's WWDC developer conference in San Jose, explaining why Apple is offering some new features to allow users to control and protect their personal information.

"We've all seen these like buttons and share buttons", Federighi told the crowd. Last year, the company launched an Intelligent Tracking system that makes it more hard for advertisers to follow users around the web. The updated mobile operating system will also come with a tool, Measure, that lets a user measure the dimensions of objects through his or her device's camera, one of Apple's first native pushes into AR. In addition to the new privacy measures, Apple also introduced new features that will encourage users to limit the amount of time they spend on their phones. Less than 24 hours before Apple's conference, the New York Times reported that Facebook's data-sharing partnerships with device makers, including Apple, were still in effect despite Facebook's claim that they'd cut off such data sharing in 2015. Along with ways to limit distracting notifications from iPhones, a new Screen Time feature allows people to more tightly control and monitor time spent in applications. How else would Facebook know who liked the post? "Screen Time" gives parents the ability to schedule a block of time to limit when their child's iOS device can't be used, such as at bedtime.

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Cook was speaking during Apple's annual developer conference, where his firm took veiled shots at Facebook.

"This is beyond remarkable", Cook said, noting that the online App Store will be 10 years old in July.

"I am concerned. that Apple is falling further behind Google and Amazon in AI (artificial intelligence)", said GlobalData research director Avi Greengart in a tweet. "It's something privacy advocates have been asking for - and we will work with them to make sure we get it right".

Apple will make it easier to developers to port iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac, but that doesn't mean a touchscreen Mac is coming out.