Skip to Content
© Artur Szczybylo |
Security & privacy

Apple’s tool meant to keep users secure exposed browsing habits

One reason Apple fans are so loyal is the company’s perception of having strong security. For years, people believed it was impossible for Apple devices to be infected with viruses.

While that’s no longer true, the company still has a good reputation when it comes to caring about customer’s privacy. Tap or click here to learn about Apple’s login system that protects your personal data.

Unfortunately, even good intentions don’t always work out. One of Apple’s tools meant to keep users secure actually did the opposite.

You’re always being tracked

We live in a digital world, which comes with lots of conveniences. Online shopping, banking through your phone and answering work emails while relaxing at home are just a few.

It also comes with some things we’re not always thrilled about, like having every single one of our moves tracked.

In most cases, tracking your online movements is so companies like Google and Facebook can provide you with targeted ads. Tap or click here to see how Facebook tracks you and how to stop it.

Trying to help its users keep from being tracked, Apple came out with an anti-tracking tool for its Safari browser in 2017. It’s called “Intelligent Tracking Prevention.”

The “Financial Times” reported this week that a group of Google researchers found several flaws in the feature that exposed user’s “sensitive private information.” Apparently, the flaws allowed others to see other users’ browsing habits.

RELATED: iOS 13 security settings you should be using

According to Google, the vulnerabilities would let a hacker see private data including specific web searches and which sites a user visits.

How did this happen?

The Intelligent Tracking Prevention tool uses an algorithm, helping it learn from user behavior to improve. It stored the information it gathers on the user’s phone, making it a vulnerable collection of data.

You may also like: Apple apologizes for recording Siri users

Google said Apple has acknowledged the flaws but didn’t say whether they were fixed yet. We’ll keep an eye on this developing story and let you know if there are any updates.

To stay on top of all breaking tech news, sign up for Kim’s alert newsletter by entering your email address below.

Komando Community background

Join the Komando Community

Get even more know-how in the Komando Community! Here, you can enjoy The Kim Komando Show on your schedule, read Kim's eBooks for free, ask your tech questions in the Forum — and so much more.

Try it for 30 days