One of the updates in Apple’s latest Mac software will stop your browser being “fingerprinted”.
One of the updates in Apple’s latest Mac software will stop your browser being “fingerprinted”.

Apple update will change how you browse

APPLE loves to position itself as the tech company that cares about your privacy.

They do this because they can. Unlike other Silicon Valley heavyweights like Google and Facebook, they don't care about tracking you to later target you with ads.

This gives it a competitive (and public relations) advantage - one that Apple is often willing to use.

The latest example is present in Apple's upcoming Mac operating software.

The company's new desktop operating system - macOS 10.14 Mojave - recently became available in public beta for keen beans to check out before it officially launches.

One of the updates contained in Apple's Safari web browser means it will stop your device being tracked online by a technique known as "browser fingerprinting".

WHAT IS FINGERPRINTING?

Every computer can pretty much be identified by its unique collection of characteristics such as the configuration of software, plug-ins and files that exist on the device.

By reading how the operating system and hardware respond to certain browser actions, internet companies can create a unique identifier for the user.

Cookies used to be the preferred way to track users online, but the same result can be achieved with browser fingerprinting, when your cookies are turned off and even when you've enabled incognito mode.

But Apple is essentially cutting out that information channel in the new update, blocking the ability of third parties to identify you through fingerprinting and chase you with ads.

As an Apple spokesperson explained to news.com.au, it means that from the perspective of fingerprinting software, all Apple Macs will look the same.

The company actually revealed its plans at its developers conference in June.

"Just like you can be identified by a fingerprint, it turns out when you browse the web, your device can be identified by a unique set of characteristics," Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, told the audience.

"With Mojave, we're making it much harder for trackers to create unique fingerprint," he said. "It will be dramatically more difficult for data companies to uniquely identify your device and track you."

Despite the fact that online advertisers rely on browser fingerprinting to target internet users with ads, Apple said the public response from the likes of Google and Facebook - who dominate online advertising - has been "fairly muted" because it's a difficult case to argue to consumers.

One of the big focuses of macOS 10.14 Mojave for Apple is expanding its desktop app store by making it easier for developers to bring your favourite iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac. So moving forward you can expect a much more vibrant app store on your desktop device.

The final version macOS Mojave will likely be available for everyone to download in September or October this year.


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