Introduced in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, iCloud Private Relay is not appealing to Orange, Vodafone, Telefonica and T-Mobile at all. These European operators sent a letter in August to the European Commission asking it to force Apple to deactivate its new feature, reports The Telegraph.
“Private relay claims to improve the privacy of users when they connect and browse the internet by encrypting and redirecting their traffic. […] This prevents other networks and servers from accessing vital data and metadata, including that of the operators in charge of the connection ”, say the reassembled operators.
“The way in which the private relay is implemented will seriously undermine European digital sovereignty”, argue the four players to a Commission already grappling with Apple in several areas.
Included in all iCloud + subscriptions, iCloud Private Relay forwards requests through two separate relays in order to hide the IP address and encrypts DNS records in order to reduce the possibilities of identification and tracing on the Internet. Currently in beta, iCloud Private Relay is not enabled by default, but it can be accessed with just a few taps to hundreds of millions of users.
ICloud + at a glance: Private Relay and hidden emails for more privacy
The concrete problems that iCloud private relay poses to operators are not detailed, but according to specialists the functionality can interfere with quality of service measures and legal obligations to block sites.
Another criticism relates to competition. “In addition, the private relay will prevent others from innovating and competing in downstream digital markets”, add the operators, without further precision. They may see private relay as a threat to their own advertising activities.
Update 8:30 p.m. – It is not only in Europe where the sling is organized against Private Relay. The third American operator T-Mobile / Sprint is in the process of deploying the blocking of the function when it is activated. A warning message warns the user that their telephone plan does not support Private Relay.
Apple has not yet communicated on the subject, but the wildfire against Private Relay could force the manufacturer to say something soon.