Earlier today, a report raised questions about Apple sharing your browsing history with Tencent. Apple has primarily always relied on Google’s Safe Browsing technology for Safari’s ‘Fraudulent Website Warning’ feature. Apparently, starting from iOS 13 the company is using Tencent’s Safe browsing technology. In a bid to quell the fears, Apple has finally responded with an official statement.
Apple explains how the Safari Fraudulent Website Warning works and that the actual URL of the website is never shared with a safe browsing provider. The company responded to Mark Gurman from Bloomberg and assured that it uses Google internationally and Tencent for devices whose region is set to China.
Apple protects user privacy and safeguards your data with Safari Fraudulent Website Warning, a security feature that flags websites known to be malicious in nature. When the feature is enabled, Safari checks the website URL against lists of known websites and displays a warning if the URL the user is visiting is suspected of fraudulent conduct like phishing. To accomplish this task, Safari receives a list of websites known to be malicious from Google, and for devices with their region code set to mainland China, it receives a list from Tencent. The actual URL of website you visit is never shared with a safe browsing provider and the feature can be turned off.
The earlier report by professor Matthew Green raised some red flags about how third-parties are able to access user data like IP address and URL of the webpage that they are visiting. He also explained how the data can potentially be used to create a profile of your browsing behavior. Are you comfortable sharing your browsing data in any form with companies like Google and Tencent? Let us know in the comments below.