Shortly after the launch of Big Sur, Apple’s newest operating system, the Cupertino giant is facing a new scandal. Users are worried that they might be spied on.
Starting November 12, when many Mac owners made the transition from macOS Catalina to macOS Big Sur, they found that their third-party applications installed on the system refused to start. In the most optimistic case, it takes a long time to start.
Many have also encountered problems using Apple applications and services, such as iMessage or Apple Pay. The latter resolved on their own within a maximum of 24 hours. The problem was one of oversaturation of Apple servers with requests for certification, recertification, device authorization after the update.
As for third-party applications, the problems were caused by Gatekeeper, a security system implemented by Apple with the launch of Mountain Lion. It checks the third-party applications you want to run on a system, if they weren’t created by Apple. This keeps your Mac safe by checking out a program with the Cupertino giant’s servers. The process is exclusively online.
Usually, gatekeeper checks are instant and invisible to users, in addition to the fact that they only happen once, when you first start a program. However, it seems that, after the transition to Big Sur, Apple decided to re-check the third-party applications that Mac users have on their computer.
Several security experts have checked what is happening, since their usual applications refuse to start on Big Sur or do it very slowly. When they checked the data sent to Apple’s servers, they saw that your Mac was sending unencrypted information, textually, related to your programs.
Other experts have contradicted those information, but Apple officials were forced to intervene. They published a thick document which explains how Gatekeeper works. In addition, they explained that they will allow users to completely disable the protection mechanism, although it is not the most inspired decision, given that it is meant to prevent the running of malicious applications or malware on the Mac.