iOS 11.3 features a new Privacy icon to keep your data and Apple ID password safe

Earlier today, Apple previewed iOS 11.3, the latest version of the company's famous mobile operating system. While Apple revealed a lengthy list of new features that come with iOS 11.3, it did not present all the improvements included in it. 

One of the things that Apple didn't specifically mention is a new Privacy icon - spotted by developer Dean Murphy in iOS 11.3 beta. 

According to info found in the beta, the Privacy icon will show up on your device when a legit Apple-made "app or feature is asking to use your personal information" - including your Apple ID password. At the moment, it's not clear exactly where this icon will appear, but it's possible that it's going to show up in the menu bar at the top.  

The Privacy icon should make it hard (or, hopefully, impossible) for scammers to steal your Apple ID password and personal data. 

Last year, another developer, Felix Krause, showed that it would be fairly easy for the maker of an app or website to include an Apple-like popup window that asked for your Apple ID password, all while you may assume it's a genuine popup (see the images below). But the newly introduced Privacy icon should make it obvious when your password is legitimately required by Apple, and when not - thus, you'll know not to share your details with malicious apps or websites. 

In addition to being included in iOS 11.3, the Privacy icon will be available on Apple's macOS High Sierra and tvOS, so it's going to protect a wide range of devices. 

iOS 11.3 is currently available only as a beta for developers. Regular users will start seeing it on their devices in the coming months - on iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later, and the iPod touch 6th generation.

sources: Dean Murphy (Twitter), KrauseFx via TheVerge 



2. lyndon420

Posts: 6822; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I don't see a difference between the two image examples...both pop-ups look the same.

4. AmashAziz

Posts: 2931; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

That’s what they are telling. Before, it was easy to make an Apple-like popup to get your info. Now, a new icon will help you distinguish fake from the real one.

13. Marcwand3l

Posts: 446; Member since: May 08, 2017

So basically what Apple is doing is fixing a vulnerability problem. When a fairly unpopular app asks for your device's password it's already very dubious. On Android I don't remember being asked to write my password by the apps that use my google id.

7. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I think the top image is the new icon because of how easy it was to spoof the pop-up. I'm really not sure because, yeah, those side by side images are damn near indistinguishable. Minus a visible cursor prompt in the phishing attempt. Then again, could have just been the timing of the screenshot.

3. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

So... What if a developer just makes a website or app pop-up that looks like the privacy icon too?

5. AmashAziz

Posts: 2931; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Smart question. But I guess the icon will be displayed on the status bar which onpy Apple might be able to implement. Apple will surely do something to prevent, what you wrote, from happening.

8. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Yeah, that would be the best implementation, I think.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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