Why you should begin using Sign in with Apple

Apple has published a lot of information explaining how its newly introduced Sign in With Apple service solves a problem most of us didn’t know existed – something many of us would very much like to solve.

Who watches the watchmen?

The issue: Most social sign-in services act a little like user-tracking honey pots: You come to use a website or service and stay because the people providing the authorization use that moment to gather even more information about what you do.

What happens is that the persistent identity used by those services can be combined with other data to identify where you go, what you look for and more. It sounds innocuous enough, but over time the individual profiles grow, and can be leaked, stolen or sold – and you don’t know by whom or to whom.

It is, I think, fair to say that this particular problem is not one most people thought we had. Apple’s Sign in With Apple service helps draw attention to it – while also providing a constructive solution.

No one knows

Apple philosophically disagrees with the idea that user data is required to make systems work. Instead, it sees its role as being that of a trusted intermediary capable of providing a source of authorization data that can be used by both end users and service/app providers.

“Apple believes that great user experiences and great privacy can go hand-in- hand, and that users should be able to enjoy the convenience and security of one-tap sign-in without compromising their privacy,” the company explains inside its detailed Sign In With Apple white paper, published this week.

Apple says it has built its service specifically, “to limit the amount of information that users are required to share, and to provide them with the peace of mind that Apple will not track them as they interact with their apps.”

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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