Apple Begins Collecting Safari Browsing Data in macOS High Sierra With Differential Privacy


Today, following the public release of macOS High Sierra, a few key things have changed, including the way Safari, and Apple, handle browsing data on the desktop operating system.

As reported by TechCrunch earlier today, Apple is now collecting browsing data via Safari, following the update to macOS High Sierra, using differential privacy. The idea behind Apple’s initiative is so that it can identify websites that might be causing issues for users. Those include sites that might be using too much memory on the system, or excessive power.

“This form of data collection is the first of its kind for Safari, aimed at identifying sites that use excessive power and crash the browser by monopolizing too much memory. Apple is also documenting the popularity of these problematic domains, in order to prioritize which sites it addresses first.”

It’s been a year since Apple first announced its efforts with differential privacy, which, most recently, came under fire a bit from security professionals. However, Apple sees it as a major feature point for iOS and macOS devices. It has already been in use for emojis, predictive text, and even search predictions. Apple is using it in tandem with machine learning, aiming to improve a variety of different areas for the end user.

Apple, with its continued focus on keeping user data private, is hoping that the implementation of differential privacy means it can collect the data it is aiming for, without risking any major data breaches, which could negatively impact users.

How do you feel about Apple collecting browsing data within Safari?

[via TechCrunch]

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