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T-Mobile has responded to allegations it was blocking Apple’s iCloud Private Relay feature, by claiming it was a settings issue, not a change in policy.
Reports circulated on Monday that some iPhone users on T-Mobile were discovering a message stating that “Private Relay is turned off for your cellular plan,” as it didn’t support Apple’s privacy service. In a response on Tuesday sent to AppleInsider, the carrier attempts to set the record straight, and that it didn’t purposefully turn it off for some subscribers.
“Our team identified that in the 15.2 iOS release, some device settings default to the feature being toggled off,” the statement reads. “We have shared this with Apple.”
The statement concludes that “this is not specific to T-Mobile” and adds that “we have not broadly blocked iCloud Phone Relay.”
The social media circulation of the message followed after U.K. carriers including T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telefonica, and others wrote a letter claiming Private Relay undermines “digital sovereignty” and hurts their ability to manage networks. The group believes Private Relay and similar features can cut off “other networks and servers from accessing vital network data and metadata, including those operators in charge of the connectivity.”
A number of carriers in Europe also blocked Private Relay for data collection reasons.