User privacy, data security, and ease of use are the fundamental and indispensable features of any technology-enabled platform. Even though Apple devices tend to be expensive than its Android equivalent hardware, customers tend to prefer Apple devices primarily because of the enhanced data security features and privacy controls offered by iOS. The latest addition to this set of features was announced by Apple.Inc on June 3, 2019 – Sign in with Apple. This feature enables iOS 13 and later versions users to use their Apple ID to sign in to applications and websites without being tracked. In other words, it provides a ‘Single Sign-On’ (SSO) service whereby the users are provided with a faster and secure way to sign along with the convenience of not having to remember multiple usernames and passwords.
Most of the websites and applications demand the creation of an account by its users for better service features. This in turn means that a user has to keep a list of usernames and passwords making it highly inconvenient. Android users often use the Sign in by Facebook or Google option instead of separate account creation. This accompanies a huge threat of information sharing to these sites that often faces allegations on privacy breaches. iOS overcomes this threat by the new feature of ‘Sign in with Apple’. Instead of verifying the email address or creating a separate account, an iOS user can use the Apple ID to login to any of the applications or websites. The company claims it to be an effort to provide the utmost respect to the privacy of user information along with foolproof security and convenience of use.
Sign in with Apple is supposed to share as little information as possible, collecting just your username and email address, and that it claims not to track user activity in applications or websites. The accounts are protected with a two-factor authentication assuring superior security to its users. With this two-factor authentication, your account can only be accessed on devices you trust, like your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac. When a user wants to sign in to a new device for the first time, they’ll need to provide two pieces of information—password and the six-digit verification code that’s automatically displayed on their trusted devices.
The Sign-in with Apple option is as easy as using Facebook or Google alternative but with the added advantage of security and privacy. All you have to do is to choose the ‘Sign in with Apple’ option on the participating app or website and enter the Apple ID. Then, you will be asked to authenticate yourself, either with your iPhone passcode, or biometrics such as Face ID and Touch ID. Moreover, while using this, the user can go for ‘Hide your email’ option in which the email address is kept private but the user can receive messages from the application. Similarly, while using Sign in with Apple for a website login, the authentication process will be handled by a separate window that is managed through Apple and hence the website can’t see your Apple ID.
Apple.Inc states that Sign in with Apple works natively on iOS/iPad OS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch), Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, covering a plethora of their product line. But this would be available only to the latest versions such as —iOS 13 or later, iPadOS 13 or later, watchOS 6 or later, macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, and tvOS 13 or later and with websites participating with iOS default browser Safari. So, like every other update, Sign in with Apple also makes the iOS platform highly competent than its android competitors in terms of privacy as well as security.