Apple’s new feature, Privacy Protection in Mail, is not supported across the Apple Watch, two security researchers have discovered. This protection first appeared in iOS 15 on iPhone and macOS Monterey on Mac, but Apple doesn’t offer it on its watch for some surprising reason.
Apple Watch is not on the iPhone level to protect privacy
Mail Privacy Protection consists of hiding your IP address and privately downloading remote content in the background, even if you’re not opening messages. According to Apple, this process makes it difficult for senders to track your mail activity. In detail, the function redirects all remote content downloaded by Mail through two separate relays managed by different entities. The first knows your IP address, but does not know the remote content of the mail you receive. The second knows the content of the remote mail you receive, but not your IP address: it provides a public identity for the destination.
Apple Watch does not support Privacy Protection in Mail, linked Talal Hajj Bakri and Tommy Musk. They were able to demonstrate this by hosting an image on their server, embedding it in an email, and then sending it. Then they checked the IP address that downloaded the image and found that this was the real IP the watch was using, not the proxy address it should use when the privacy feature was turned on.
CAUTION: The Mail privacy protection introduced in iOS 15 does not apply to the Mail app on Apple Watch. The Mail app and the notification preview on your Apple Watch both download remote content using your real IP address.#electronic security # internal control Department pic.twitter.com/o0lh9rPQTd
– Musk 🇨🇦🇩🇪 (@mysk_co) November 15 2021
This feature is in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, but not watchOS 15. Apple doesn’t explain why its watch isn’t eligible for it.
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