Apple introduced its App Transport Security (ATS) standard when it rolled out iOS 9. The ATS restricts apps from transferring data through a HTTP connection, forcing them to go through HTTPS instead. The latter is an encrypted communication protocol, which keeps the data secure. iOS app developers were encouraged to update their apps to accommodate for the new standard. Now Apple is taking a tougher stance, requiring all apps to use the ATS feature by 2017. Here's what you need to know.
ATS aims to reduce data theft and malicious code infiltrating iOS devices through apps. While Apple's software development kit turns on ATS by default for developers, there is an option to deactivate it. One of the reasons why developers would choose to do this is because it may potentially block in-app advertising that runs through HTTP. This was an matter that garnered attention when Google issued instructions for developers to bypass ATS on their apps so their ads won't be blocked.
At Apple's World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2016, the company has announced that after 1 January 2017, all new apps and app updates that are submitted for review through the App Store must use ATS. No exceptions.
This wasn't exactly an unexpected move but now that Apple has set a clear deadline, no doubt it will spur app developers to get a move on with adopting ATS.
Apple has been championing the importance of protecting user privacy after its fight against the FBI's forceful requests to decrypt a user's iPhone garnered worldwide attention.
[Via Apple Insider]