Apple talks privacy in its services and HomeKit, adding new customization tools

“Privacy matters now, more than ever,” according to Craig Federighi. And that remains the same in the newest versions of its platforms.

During the all-online WWDC, Federighi spoke in detail about privacy and how important it is for Apple as a whole, and how important it is for the end user. The executive went over the primary principles for the company, including how it touches upon the services and hardware offered by the company. Federighi spoke about the Sign in with Apple feature, and there are over two million accounts created across apps and websites.

Privacy improvements are coming to the new products.

That starts with location. This year, Apple is giving users even more control. Users will be able to share their own approximate location, rather than your specific location. Tracking is changing, too, with Apple working to improve it across the board. Tracking should be transparent and in the user’s control. The App Store policy moving forward with now ask users for permission to track across apps and websites owned by third-party companies.

There are new summaries of app policies, similar to nutritional guidelines on food. Each developer will need to tell Apple, and the end user, what their practices are. So each app will show highlights of each app’s privacy, tracking, and security essential information at a glance.

This should give more control to the end user.

The new privacy efforts extend to the home.

First, anything that gets developed to the home should be easy to use, both in setup and in daily use. Home products should not compromise privacy, including Siri requests (that use random identifier, not an Apple ID). And using inter-connected devices should be as easy as AirPlay (according to Apple’s Federighi).

HomeKit will remain end-to-end encrypted with your range of Apple devices.

Amazon and Google are partnering with Apple to help support a more range of smart home devices that are secure devices. A new standard that will work across homes and services and devices from different companies. Tap-and-scan is coming to Home accessories. And iOS 14 will offer up automatic actions when you set up a new device.

The Home app already shows the user the range of accessories they have.

Adaptive lighting will automatically adjust the color of your supported light bulbs. Warmer light in the morning, less blue light in the evening, and more. Cameras with HomeKit Secure Video and iOS 14, cameras will be able to define “activity zones”, which will allow for notifications in certain areas. And cameras, and video doorbells, will offer facial recognition — and can automatically recognize people you’ve tagged in the stock Photos app.

HomePod can notify you when someone is at the door as well.