WWDC 2019: 'Sign in with Apple' will be mandatory for all apps using third-party login systems

Apple wants users to have a privacy-focused login system at their disposal at any time.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor

Apple plans to make the new 'Sign in with Apple' login system mandatory for all apps that use another third-party login system.

According to a page detailing new updates to the App Store Review Guidelines, any app that utilizes a third-party login system -- such as those provided by Google, Facebook, or Twitter -- must also add support for "Sign in with Apple" starting this summer, once the system goes into beta testing.

The move to push 'Sign in with Apple' down developers' throats might seem aggressive, but Apple has designed the new login mechanism with privacy in mind.

According to the OS maker, 'Sign in with Apple' does not share any user details with the apps where the user authenticates, and can even generate unique throwaway email addresses if needed.

"A simple API allows a developer to add a 'Sign in with Apple' button right in their app. You just tap it, and you're authenticated with FaceID on your device, logged in with a new account, without revealing any new personal information," said Craig Federighi, Apple's software engineering chief.

According to the 'Sign in with Apple' documentation page, Apple's new login system will be compatible with iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS apps, but it can also be used for web apps and other non-apple platforms, via JavaScript.

However, the company is making 'Sign in with Apple' mandatory for all apps that want to be listed on the App Store.

Apple rebranding as privacy-first company

The OS maker views 'Sign in with Apple' as a privacy-focused alternative to other third-party login systems provided by rivals like Google and Facebook, known to track users for advertising purposes.

Apple is positioning 'Sign in with Apple' as the privacy-focused login system of choice -- similar to how the Tor Foundation and Brave have branded and positioned their software as privacy-focused alternatives on the browser market.

In an exclusive interview with CBS News, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed his company's new approach and focus on privacy features.

"You know, we're not really taking a shot at anybody. We focus on the user. And the user wants the ability to go across numerous properties on the web without being under surveillance," Cook said.

"We're moving privacy protections forward. And I actually think it's a very reasonable request for people to make."

Cook's comments and the launch of the new 'Sign in with Apple' system happened on the same day news broke that the US Justice Department was reportedly preparing an antitrust probe into Google's search and advertising practices.

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