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Be Careful: Safari Will Sync Browser History in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8

Posted by Jim Tanous on June 5, 2014
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Apple made it clear during its WWDC keynote on Monday that one of the company’s primary goals is to make the user experience across all of its products as consistent as possible. Initial steps were taken years ago with the launch of features like synced bookmarks and iCloud Tabs, and Apple upped the ante this week with a series of announcements related to document and messages syncing, phone call integration, and app “handoffs.”

One area that Apple didn’t detail during its keynote is Safari history. Safari 8.0, included as part of OS X Yosemite, introduces synced history, making the list of sites you visit available on all of your devices linked to the same iCloud account. Naturally, Apple has also introduced the ability to clear your history from all devices, too. Using the familiar option at Safari > History > Clear History warns you that “clearing will remove history on devices signed into your iCloud account.” This new process only clears the history list, and not cookies or other cached website data.

Safari 8 Synced History

Apple has also taken a page from Google Chrome and now lets users decide if they want to clear history from all time, the past two days, the current day, or just the past hour.

Safari 8 Clear History

Synced Safari history will be great for some users, but it also introduces privacy and safety concerns for those sharing Macs and iDevices. For example, parents who view adult content on their Mac will need to remember that their children with access to a family iPad with the same iCloud account will be able to see the browser history if they know where to look. More innocuously, someone shopping for a secret birthday present for their spouse may inadvertently spoil the surprise if they use a shared iDevice and forget to clear their history after shopping. Of course, browsers like Chrome already support optional history syncing, although it’s not enabled by default.

It’s still early in the beta testing process for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, so we’ll see how developer feedback shapes Apple’s decision to modify this new shared history feature.

7 thoughts on “Be Careful: Safari Will Sync Browser History in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8”

fuckappleintheasshole says:
WHO THE FUCK WOULD WANT THIS FEATURE. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST A LITTLE SHRED OF PRIVACY?
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Graxxor Anandro Vidhelssen says:
Then use your own “FUCKING JESUS APPLE FUCK FUCK” (to quote the above two eloquent users) account.
It’s really not rocket science. I have an account for ME, ME, ME and nobody else. Any device which is shared I use a “virtual” family account which is a family member and has access to the software and (had until 8.4) the music library. They cannot poll my location, see any of my history (except for application downloads).
“You jus’ need to Chill Winston!”
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Tyrexius Jager says:
THIS IS SO STUPID, or I am… Accidentally deleted 4 years of internet history on my Mac via my iPhone. What bullshit feature is this?
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rt4 says:
FUCK Apple a big time, my wife just found out I visit pornXX yesterday from our iPAD, and I only used my iPhone but not iPAD to visit this porn site…and we got into a fight for whole night..FUCK APPLE !! FUCK YOU BIG TIME
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Graxxor Anandro Vidhelssen says:
Graxxor Anandro Vidhelssen fuckappleintheasshole • 6 minutes ago

Then use your own “FUCKING JESUS APPLE FUCK FUCK” (to quote the above eloquent user) account.
It’s really not rocket science. I have an account for ME, ME, ME and nobody else. Any device which is shared I use a “virtual” family account which is considered a family member as far as iCloud is concerned and has access to the paid for software and (had until 8.4) access to the all our individuals’ music libraries. They cannot poll my location, see any of my Safari history (except for application downloads) access my email or read my iMessages. This is not just privacy, it’s good healthy and responsible computing. In that vein, I have taught my kids to NEVER ask for another’s password and if they perchance do, NEVER expect to be given a real, meaningful one. Never give away their passwords to ANYONE… and NEVER send nekkid vids of themselves to their boyfriends… No matter how horny… I really don’t want to be watching my own daughters on XNXXdotCOM

O_O

“You jus’ need to Chill Winston!”
I have replied to the user below with the same WoT(R).

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Bart says:
“Take a page from Google?” Seriously, for limiting the time period of deletion? LOL. This after Google based it’s ENTIRE browser on Apple’s Web Kit (which was open source, and fair game, just saying)…
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Jame Healy says:
When you add your wife as a member of your ‘family’ on iCloud, then your browsing history is automatically shared into her account’s history … it makes online Christmas shopping a little challenging.
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tincho81 says:
I see how one could like their bookmarks synched but history? huh-uh I don’t want that to be synched across my accounts, that’s why I have an account for work and another for myself! not good
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Bart says:
You simply need two Apple IDs. They are free. One for work and another for home. Then, if you have two machines at work and two at home (or more) they are all synced appropriately.
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Graxxor Anandro Vidhelssen says:
It’s not synced across two different accounts, only the same account logged into different devices. Also, you can individually remove the checks from the boxes on devices you don’t want to sync…. Of course, you spouse could reenable the check without you knowing as there is no central manangement.
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ThePipetteNinja says:
Is this not exactly why private browsing is a thing?
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teejay_1987 says:
definitely not
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Bart says:
That still works, actually. History is not recorded when you are in private mode.
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