As some of you may have heard, Apple has just launched a new version of Safari along with the new High Sierra operating systems for Macs. This update brings a few highly publicized features such as the possibility to disable those very annoying auto-playing ads or the ability to stop cookies from tracking you across multiple websites. However, there's an additional function that not many people know about and, which is as interesting as it is worrisome.
For the first time ever (according to official reports), Apple's web browser has started collecting browsing data from its users. The IT giant is using something called differential privacy technology, which is supposed to help Safari identify the problematic websites without compromising the privacy of its users. Basically, this feature finds websites that take out too much memory or require too much power to run and ranks them by their popularity. The company plans on finding solutions for dealing with the issue-generating websites and the ranking will help determine which ones should take priority. The catch is that this system won't register who was browsing which web page, just that a specific website caused a problem a number of times.
According to multiple online sources, the differential privacy technology is quite safe, but I can't help being worried by the fact that Apple is moving away from its user-privacy first policy. We already know how IT giants make money from free services and I'm concerned that Apple may be moving towards the same business model.