iOS 15 brought many data protection-relevant functions into Apple’s mobile operating system. One of them is Mail Privacy Protection, which hides your IP address from web-based content in e-mails. This effectively blocks tracking pixels that could be embedded in emails. This also works in tandem with iCloud Private Relay, which hides your real IP address.
Unfortunately, Apple seems to have forgotten the Apple Watch. According to a report by developer Mysk, they found that users who view their emails and download attachments from their emails through the Apple Watch do not offer the same level of privacy protection as the iPhone.
Attention: The email data protection introduced in iOS 15 does not apply to the Mail app on the Apple Watch. Both the Mail app and the notification preview on the Apple Watch download remote content using your real IP address. # Cybersecurity #iOS pic.twitter.com/o0lh9rPQTd
– Mysk 🇨🇦🇩🇪 (@mysk_co) November 15, 2021
According to the tweet, opening and downloading emails on the Apple Watch, or even viewing the email through notifications on the Apple Watch, actually uses your real IP address. This means that any protections you may have enabled on the iPhone, like mail privacy, have been bypassed.
It seems that this could be an oversight by Apple. Perhaps the company assumes that people aren’t actually checking their email on their smartwatches, or they may have forgotten about it altogether. Hopefully this is something the company will address in future watchOS updates. In the meantime, for those who check their email on their watch, if you’re particularly concerned about tracking and privacy, there’s no workaround other than turning off previews.
Filed in. Read more about Apple Watch, apps, iOS, iOS 15, iPhone, data protection, smartwatch and wearable tech. Source: macworld