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Mobile operators want to ban "iCloud private relay" on the iPhone, but what is it?

Mobile operators want to ban “iCloud private relay” on the iPhone, but what is it?

This is a new battle launched by European and American mobile phone companies: they want to ban “iCloud Private Relay”. This new feature prevents them from properly analyzing the movement of their users, which does not satisfy the major global telecom operators.

Mobile operators want to ban

Cell phone operators in the US and Europe want to ban “iCloud Private Migration” , available with any iCloud+ subscription that has been introduced since iOS 15 and macOS Monterey.

What is “iCloud Private Relay”?

If you download files iOS 15You may have noticed something different in your iCloud account. In fact, Apple has updated all paid iCloud accounts (package Apple One) to something called iCloud +. This includes many cool new features in addition to the existing storage, sync and cloud features, but the most amazing is “iCloud Private Relay” (iCloud Private Relay in English). We can compare it to VPN…but that would be wrong. why ?

using “iCloud Private Relay” , your browsing traffic is encrypted and sent through a relay to hide your exact location, your IP address, or the content of your browsing traffic. Thus all your browsing activities in Safari are routed through two phases.

Your data is encrypted and then sent to Apple, so your ISP can’t see any of your web browsing requests. Once you enter the Apple proxy server, the DNS query (which points to a domain name like “” to the IP address of a specific server) and the IP address of your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

How iCloud Private Relay works

How iCloud Private Relay works // Source: Apple

Your IP address is kept by Apple, while your DNS query is forwarded and encrypted to “trusted partner” It has a decryption key, along with a fake intermediate IP address based on your approximate location. Apple has not mentioned the names of its partners, but it can be said that they are large companies such as Akamai, Cloudfare and Fastly.

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This means that Apple knows your IP address but not the name of the sites you visit, and the trusted partner knows the site you are visiting but not your IP address. Neither of them can put together a complete picture of who you are and where you are going. The point is that the websites you visit completely ignore this information, so they cannot create profiles for your activity.

There is one important difference with a VPN: “iCloud Private Relay” It doesn’t hide your identity, but rather gives off an ambiguous version of you. You’re still identified in such and such a region, so you’ll have access to the French Netflix catalog from France, but the data is approximate. This prevents websites from creating an accurate advertising profile. finally, This is only relevant to Safari at the moment.

Why is this annoying mobile operators?

The information was transferred by telegraph, then resume McGeeMobile operators Orange, Vodafone, Telefonica and T-Mobile want to force Apple to deactivate this new functionality. They sent a letter in August to the European Commission to that effect.

“Private Relay claims to improve users’ privacy when they are online and browsing by encrypting and redirecting their traffic. […] This prevents other networks and servers from accessing vital data and metadata, including that of the operators responsible for the connection (…) The way private relaying is implemented would seriously undermine European digital sovereignty. “

conflict “iCloud Private Migration” In advance with several important areas for operators, in particular with regard to data collection for quality of service measures and legal obligations to block sites. It is also a way to limit advertising revenue for mobile operators, since targeting data is important in this type of revenue.

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T-Mobile and Sprint, two US mobile operators, own the gold and have already blocked the job with their customers. Mobile operators have the option to deactivate it, then a warning message appears on the iPhone.

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