FILE PHOTO: The Apple logo is seen outside the Apple Store in Washington, DC, on July 9, 2019. (ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shilpa Sharma

APPLE’S newly introduced privacy protection feature, ‘private relay’ will not be available to users in China due to regulatory reasons.

At its annual software developer conference, Apple announced a set of new privacy protections including a function called “private relay”, where users’ web browsing behaviour can be hidden from Apple, internet providers and advertisers.

The feature could not be rolled out in China, as the internet is closely controlled there, along with an extensive surveillance system of its residents.

China is a key market for Apple and accounts for 15 per cent of its revenue.

The tech giant has been under pressure to cut down on the tracking of user data.

The new function will not be available in several other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Belarus, South Africa and Kazakhstan.

Explaining the new function, Apple said this feature sends traffic to a server maintained by Apple, where its IP address will be removed.

From there, it goes to a second server operated by a third party, where a temporary IP address is generated and sent onto the destination website.

According to technology experts, the function will prevent advertisers from using IP addresses to pinpoint a person’s location.

Apple also introduced new privacy features included in the latest iPhone operating system, iOS 15, that will allow users to track which apps are collecting data.

Users will also be able to block tracking with apps like Mail.

The new features are likely to hinder social media companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter as customised advertising is central to their business model.