Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive
Facebook Apple

Apple Change Causes Scramble Among Private Messaging App Makers

By  |  Sept. 5, 2019 7:01 AM PDT
Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo by Bloomberg

A change Apple is making to improve privacy in an upcoming version of its iPhone operating system has alarmed an unlikely group of software makers: developers of privacy-focused encrypted messaging apps. They warn the change, which is already available in public test versions of iOS 13, could end up undermining the privacy goals that prompted it in the first place.

The Information previously reported that the technical change Apple is making to its next operating systems, iOS 13, has sparked concern at Facebook, which believes it will have to make significant modifications to encrypted messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to comply. But a much wider group of developers of encrypted messaging apps—including Signal, Wickr, Threema and Wire—is scrambling to overhaul their software so that key privacy features continue to work. 

Apple told The Information on Wednesday in a statement that it is working with the developers to resolve their concerns. “We’ve heard feedback on the API changes introduced in iOS 13 to further protect user privacy and are working closely with iOS developers to help them implement their feature requests,” an Apple spokerson said, using the abbreviation for application programming interfaces, a tool that lets developers take advantage of basic functions in operating systems.  

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing Media/Telecom Apple
Apple’s Blissful Ignorance on App Store Profits
Phil Schiller arriving at court last week. Photo by Bloomberg.
If Apple executive Phil Schiller is to be believed, Apple executives don’t know whether the App Store is profitable. That subject “doesn’t come up” in internal Apple discussions, Schiller testified today at the Epic-Apple trial. This is a business that by some estimates generates between $10 billion and $12 billion in annual profits for Apple—nearly 20% of its total profit—and executives don’t...
Latest Briefs
 
In Epic Trial, Apple’s Phil Schiller Says He has Limited Awareness of Apple’s Antitrust Problems
Amazon Extends Ban on Selling Facial Recognition to Police
Google I/O: Android Changes, AI Advances
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
A still image from WPTV news footage of a truck crash last November in Palm Beach County, Fla. Image courtesy of WPTV
TI Investigation Amazon E-commerce
The Deadly Toll of Amazon’s Trucking Boom
Abdullah Baidas had just pulled over to help the victims of a minor traffic accident on a freeway north of Houston when the truck with the blue smiley-face logo on its side shattered his body.
Illustration by Laurent Bazart
Startups Markets
As SPAC Market Unravels, Startups Seek Alternatives
After the coronavirus pandemic jump-started demand for prescription delivery services, six-year-old Capsule Pharmacy decided to raise money to expand into new cities, hoping to target more customers who don’t want to visit pharmacies in person.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Photo by Bloomberg.
Media/Telecom Entertainment
Warner-Discovery Deal Talks Thrust John Malone and David Zaslav Into Spotlight
AT&T is effectively throwing in the towel on entertainment. The telecom giant is in talks to sell WarnerMedia to Discovery Inc., the John Malone–controlled TV firm, said a person familiar with the situation.
MGM's headquarters in Los Angeles. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Entertainment
Amazon Pondering Deal to Buy MGM
Amazon is in discussions to acquire MGM Holdings, said a person familiar with the situation, in what would be the ecommerce giant’s biggest move yet to expand in entertainment.
Tourists followed a tour guide through a backstreet in Florence, Italy, in 2017. Photo: Bloomberg
Policy Travel
Airbnb Confronts Tighter Rules on Rentals as Pandemic Ebbs
As Airbnb works to reinvigorate its business after the pandemic all but extinguished travel to urban destinations, it is confronting a fresh threat from regulators intent on limiting the number of homes they allow to be rented out to tourists.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, on the left, leaving the courthouse last week. Photo by Bloomberg.
News Analysis Apple
Midway Through Apple-Epic Trial, Apple Maintains Its Advantage
App developers are rooting for Epic Games to win its court battle against Apple. Yet some prominent developers told The Information they have grown concerned that the ongoing antitrust trial between Apple and Epic could hurt their own efforts to take on Apple and redefine who controls the economics of consumer apps.