Could ‘Sign in with Apple’ be the privacy-focused login system of choice?
Apple recently announced ‘Sign In With Apple’ at WWDC, allowing users to log in to apps and services using their Apple ID. But what makes it so different from the current crop of ‘sign-in’ tools from Facebook and Google?
The way most sign-in applications work is that the app will get your username and password for a particular service (usually along with your email address). These apps can sell your email address to advertisers, or track your activity between unrelated applications.
Apple’s sign-in feature provides neither an email address nor an identifiable user ID. The unique user ID returned is just a string of random characters, so no personally identifiable information is shared with the apps where the user authenticates. making it impossible for apps to get access to gain any useful information about the person that’s signing in.
‘Sign in with Apple’ can even generate unique throwaway email addresses if needed which forwards onto your real email address, meaning that even if a user is not following best practices by using unique passwords for each site, they could have unique email addresses for each service.
The new sign-in feature is coming with Apple’s new operating systems this autumn and will be available across macOS, iOS, and through websites.
Coincidentally, ‘Sign in with Apple’ was launched on the same day news broke that the US Justice Department was reportedly preparing an antitrust probe into Google’s search and advertising practices.