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Photo: Apple

Many of the changes coming to Apple's operating system this fall are nice-to-have tweaks rather than big, bold changes. However, the announcement of Sign In with Apple stands out.

Why it matters: Apple's service is similar to ones already offered by Facebook and Google. But Sign In with Apple is making privacy an explicit feature and doing so in a way that will make it tough for its competitors.

  • Apple isn't looking to gather data or make money from its effort.
  • It's offering features that should appeal to both developers and consumers.
  • It's making Apple sign-on a mandatory option when iPhone developers offer third party-options, such as those from Facebook or Google.

Details: This service will work on Apple devices and on any website that adds Apple's button, letting consumers use their Apple ID as a means of authentication.

  • App developers will get only limited information — as little as a unique, random ID — with consumers having the option to share their real e-mail or just a proxy that will be managed by Apple.

What they're saying:

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook talked more about the sign-in service in an interview with CBS' Norah O'Donnell. Cook downplayed the competitive angle, although there's little doubt who Sign In with Apple targets.
"We’re not really taking a shot at anybody. We focus on the user. And the user wants the ability to go across numerous properties on the web without being under surveillance. We’re moving privacy protections forward. And I actually think it’s a very reasonable request for people to make."
  • Twitter product head Sriram Krishnan: "This 'Sign in with Apple' feature is *huge*. Anonymous sign in without any of the privacy baggage."

Go deeper: What Apple, Facebook and Google each mean by "privacy"

Go deeper

35 mins ago - Technology

Facebook Oversight Board overturns 4 of its 5 first cases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook's independent Oversight Board published its first set of decisions Thursday, overturning 4 of the 5 cases it chose to review out of 20,000 cases submitted.

Why it matters: The decision to go against Facebook's conclusions in 4 out of 5 instances gives legitimacy to the Board, which is funded via a $130 million grant from Facebook.

New York AG: State severely undercounted COVID nursing home deaths

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Data from New York's public health department undercounted COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, according to a report released Thursday by state Attorney General Letitia James.

The big picture: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration did not include nursing home patients who died after being transferred to the hospital in its tally of over 8,500 nursing home deaths, according to the report. Data provided to the attorney general's office from 62 nursing homes "shows a significantly higher number of resident COVID-19 deaths can be identified than is reflected" in the official count.

Trading platforms curb trading on high-flying Reddit stocks

Major trading platforms including Robinhood, TDAmeritrade and Interactive Brokers are restricting — or cutting off entirely — trading on high-flying stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

Why it matters: It limits access to the traders that have contributed to the wild Reddit-driven activity of the past few days — a phenomenon that has gripped Wall Street and the country.

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