Apple Inc. said on Monday (June 7) that its new “private relay” feature, which lets users hide their Web browsing behavior from Web service providers and advertisers, will not be available in China because it touches on Chinese Internet regulations, Reuters reported. China.
The feature is one of a series of privacy protections that Apple announced at the company’s annual software developers conference on Monday.
In a statement to Reuters, Apple said the feature will also be unavailable in Belarus, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda and the Philippines.
With the “private relay” feature, users’ network access data is first sent to a server maintained by Apple, where it is stripped of its IP address. After this step, Apple sends the access data with the IP address hidden to a second server maintained by a third-party carrier, which assigns a temporary IP address to the user and sends the access data to the target site.
Apple claims that the use of a third party during the second hop in the data relay system was deliberately arranged by design to ensure that even Apple would not know the identity of the user and the site he or she was visiting.
Apple has not yet disclosed which third parties it will work with to run the feature, but said it will announce those partners in the future. The feature will likely not be available to the public until later this year.