Apple creates DNS tech to make it harder to track users online

Apple engineers have reportedly partnered with the security firm Cloudflare and cloud service firm Fastly to create a new DNS standard, called Oblivious. This standard is intended to make it more difficult to track users online.

DNS, which stands for domain name system, is the internet function that translates domain names such as to a numerical IP address that computers can handle.

There are so many domain names today that no single server can have a list that is both complete and current. Instead, there is a network of DNS servers that communicate with each other and send requests.

When they communicate, the information is sent in plain text, which means third parties can try to track it. Oblivious, reports AppleInsider, is intended to make tracking more difficult by separating the IP address and the request, so that fewer parties will have access to both parts.

However, it will probably take a while before ordinary consumers will get access to the new technology. And there is no guarantee that it will appear in any of Apple’s own software products.

Apple has focused heavily on privacy in recent years, safe in the knowledge that unlike many of its rivals – most obviously Google – its business model does not rely on the harvesting of user data. An iPhone advert this year warned against the dangers of oversharing, and privacy-focused changes in iOS 14 were viewed as so radical that advertisers spoke out against them… which was followed by the company deciding to postpone those changes until 2021.

For related information, read How to protect your iPhone privacy.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.

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