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Apple’s privacy push has put the company at odds with some big rivals, most notably Facebook, that rely on collecting data about people to better target ads. Despite protests from some corners of Silicon Valley, Monday’s announcements show that Apple has doubled down on privacy features.

Yet the company’s public branding on privacy is also undermined by its business in China, where it is putting its Chinese customers’ data at risk and aiding the government’s censorship operation to placate authorities there, The New York Times reported last month.

On Monday, Apple also announced new features designed to make the iPhone the only item someone needs to carry with them when leaving home. Apple has already allowed people to pay for items in stores and get through subway turnstiles with iPhones. Now it is trying to move government identification cards onto the devices. Apple said people could soon scan their driver’s licenses to use digital versions of the IDs, which will be accepted in some participating states and airport security checkpoints in the United States.

Apple is also trying to replace physical keys. The company said it was making it easier to use digital keys to unlock doors at homes, offices and hotels. Hyatt Hotels plans to use the technology at more than 1,000 properties beginning in the fall, Apple said.

Apple is also greatly expanding FaceTime, its videoconferencing service. For more than a decade, FaceTime was an app exclusive to Apple users. But it soon will be opened to web browsers, which will also allow non-Apple devices like Android phones to participate in FaceTime calls.

Apple is adding a host of features that FaceTime callers can use together in a group session. A group on a video call will be able to listen to music or stream movies together. They can also use some apps together — like a delivery app to take turns adding food to an order before meeting up.

The new mobile operating system will also add a text-recognition ability to the iPhone camera, allowing a photo of handwritten text to be automatically transcribed into typed text or a photo of a billboard with a phone number to enable you to dial that phone number.

Jack Nicas and Brian X. Chen

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/06/07/business/economy-stock-market-news

Apple unveils new privacy features, digital IDs and changes to FaceTime.
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