At first sight, sign-in with Apple looks like another attempt by a tech giant to collect user data.
It isn’t. Apple aims to reverse that data collection.
Facebook and Google offer single sign-in services. These are used to monitor people’s online activity.
Single sign-in reduces friction as you move around on-line sites that ask for a log-in. It speeds things up. That’s important in an impatient world.
The downside is that Facebook and Google get to learn a lot more about account holder online activity.
You may view this as innocent, ominous or simply a tax paid to live in the digital world. You may not care.
Other downsides are greater security and privacy risks. In the past single sign-on services have been hacked.
Sign-in with Apple is different. It is more secure. There is built-in two-factor authentication support and anti-fraud detection.
You can use it to sign-in to websites. It also works with iOS apps. That way you know the apps you use are not sharing your private data with someone you may not trust.
Also, you choose if an app developer gets to see your email address. That’s optional.
If you choose not to share, Apple generates a disposable email address for that app. If, say, the app developer starts spamming you, you can kill the email address and lose nothing.
Sign-in with Apple works with Android phones and Windows computers, but you’ll get most from it if you have Apple hardware. It integrates with iOS and Apple Keychain. It also works with Apple TV and Apple Watch.
Sign-in with Apple stays private
There’s no lock-in. On the other hand, it might give privacy aware users who shop elsewhere another reason to consider Apple products.
Apple insists app developers using the App Store offer the service if they offer the Google or Facebook alternative. Otherwise it is optional.
At first I was wary of the idea. Now I’m keen. I’ve never used the Google or Facebook sign-ins and got used to doing things the slow, but more private, way. Now that’s unnecessary.
Of course, you have to trust Apple when it says that it doesn’t interpret collected data or keep track of your log-ins.
The difference here is that we know for certain Facebook and Google do this. Apple makes its money from hardware and services. Facebook and Google are all about surveillance capitalism.