T-Mobile, Vodafone and o2 are fighting against a new Apple feature

Apple wants to make its iPhones, iPads and Macs more secure with “Private Relay”. Several network operators think nothing of it, as reports show. T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telefónica (o2) and Orange see an attack on the “digital sovereignty” of users and are demanding an end to VPN-like encryption.

Network operators are up in arms against Apple’s “private relay”

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

According to the assessment of T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telefónica (o2) and Orange the new function will immediately undermine the “digital sovereignty” of the users with “considerable consequences”. The network operators had already sent a letter to the European Commission in August 2021 to explain their objections. “Private relay” would make it harder to protect users from malicious content, they say.

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

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Mobile operator: Data should remain in the EU

The letter to the EU Commission has probably remained unanswered so far. Nevertheless, the major mobile phone providers are likely to continue to exert pressure, because the EU will definitely be concerned with one important detail. Apple’s “private relay” does not necessarily collect less data, but basically only collects it redirected from the EU to Apple’s server in the US.

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