In a statement to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, T-Mobile said that iOS 15.2 device settings that default to the feature being toggled off, and that Apple has been contacted. T-Mobile explicitly says that iCloud relay has not been blocked.
Overnight our team identified that in the 15.2 iOS release, some device settings default to the feature being toggled off. We have shared this with Apple. This is not specific to T-Mobile. Again though, we have not broadly blocked iCloud Private
Yesterday morning, 9to5Mac published a story that said T-Mobile was preventing subscribers from enabling iCloud Private Relay in the United States, and this was a function that was rolling out to all iPhone users.
The article was based on a handful of reports from T-Mobile users who were unable to turn on iCloud Private Relay, and were receiving a message that it was disabled for their carrier.
T-Mobile has since informed 9to5Mac that some subscribers who are using plans and features with content filtering are not able to access iCloud Private Relay, though 9to5Mac claims that some of the users unable to access iCloud Private Relay do not have content filtering enabled.
Customers who chose plans and features with content filtering (e.g. parent controls) do not have access to the iCloud Private Relay to allow these services to work as designed. All other customers have no restrictions.
Based on what T-Mobile has said, it appears the issue is linked to content filtering and a problem with certain features being disabled by default, but the company has now made it clear that iCloud Private Relay is not being explicitly blocked for T-Mobile subscribers.
Apple today updated its iCloud Private Relay support document to clarify how users can make sure that iCloud Private Relay is enabled for a cellular network in iOS 15.2 by going to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options and ensuring that “Limit IP Address Tracking” is turned on.
There was instant concern about T-Mobile’s intentions following the reports yesterday because European carriers banded together to call for iCloud Private Relay to be restricted because it prevents “networks and servers from accessing vital network data and metadata, including those operators in charge of the connectivity.”
In the U.S., AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have not spoken out against iCloud Private Relay nor have they suggested U.S. networks won’t support the feature.