T-Mobile, Vodafone and o2: Network operators want to block new Apple feature

With “Private Relay” Apple wants to make its iPhones, iPads and Macs more secure. Several network operators are now standing cross, as reports show. T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telefónica (o2) and Orange see the VPN-like encryption as an attack on “digital sovereignty”.

Apple’s “Private Relay”: Network operators are in storm

About “Private Relay”, which is currently available as a beta version on iOS, Apple would like to offer a VPN-like service to the Fully encrypt traffic on iPhones, iPads and Macs. Apple claims that precise geodata of users should no longer leak out without being asked. It is already clear, however, that Apple will not offer the function everywhere. Several network operators have now turned to the EU to ban “private relay” in Europe.

According to T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telefónica (o2) and Orange The new function will undermine the users’ “digital sovereignty” with “considerable consequences”. As early as August 2021, the network operators wrote to the European Commission to explain their objections. “Private Relay” would make it harder to protect users from harmful content, it is said.

The wireless service providers fear, among other things, that the Access to important network and metadata will no longer be possible. As the operator, however, you are responsible for the connection. In addition, “private relay” would ultimately ensure that innovation and competition in digital markets are restricted (source: The Telegraph).

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Network operator: data should remain in the EU

The letter to the EU Commission has so far received no response. Nevertheless, the major mobile network providers are likely to continue to apply pressure, because the EU will definitely deal with one important detail. Apple’s “Private Relay” does not necessarily mean that less data is collected, but actually only collects it diverted from the EU to Apple’s server in the USA.