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Apple’s announcement that ChatGPT will, it appears, be free on certain iPhones, iPads and Macs has sparked concerns in some quarters about the threat of an “unacceptable security violation”.

The good news is that organisations, which are already struggling with peripheral devices poking holes in their cybersecurity blanket, need not be frightened about sensitive information on Apple devices suddenly being out there for the world to see.

However, there are a few unknowns that enterprises will want Apple to address, the biggest among them being whether enterprise-managed devices will be able to turn off access to non-Apple AI services like ChatGPT.

Here’s what you need to know:


If history serves as a guide, ChatGPT integration is “coming” in the September release of iOS 18. Certain iPhone users running specific hardware (Apple A17 Pro chips or newer) will get ChatGPT 4 for free, with additional on-device features built into the latest iteration of Siri.

Apple has historically been very careful with privacy and security – they are very conscious that success hinges on consumer trust. Everything we’ve seen so far points to a similarly cautious approach.

There are 3 security levels for enterprises to consider: “Apple Intelligence” is Apple’s in-house AI approach that relies on a preference to process requests on the device, meaning your data doesn’t leave your device.

However, if the request requires bigger models, Apple will pass it to their new Private Cloud Compute – the detail we’ve seen so far on this looks good, but it’s unclear whether users will be informed of the handoff.

If the job requires even more processing power, the request will be handed off to non-Apple AI services, starting with ChatGPT. ChatGPT is only used with the user’s permission and Apple says “your requests and information will not be logged”.

Enterprise managed devices should have the ability to turn off access to non-Apple AI services like ChatGPT, but we’re still trying to understand if Apple will provide that capability. There is already a significant risk of “Shadow AI” - AI systems that aren’t approved or risk assessed - being used by employees within a business; this will no doubt increase it.


In our opinion, this control function will be critical for enterprise users, particularly because it’s free and usable without a ChatGPT account, which reduces barrier to entry for users. We expect to see this feature in future updates but. as it stands right now, enterprises would instead need to turn off Siri entirely for their staff (an existing control that has been available for some time).

While not specifically related to Apple’s announcement, the ever-increasing use of AI highlights the need for enterprises to be careful about what information they put into AI models. Assume that there is a way for someone, through “prompt engineering,” to get it out what has been put in. This increases enterprises’ exposure level.

The supercharged search capabilities of AI also have serious social, brand and reputation implications that shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated. The power of AI to surface, transform and take out of context everything a person has said or done in their entire life – or simply make it up as seen in India’s recent election – is a game-changer. Social media has amplified the impact of bullying and character assassination, and we’ve already seen how AI is taking that to the next level in schools. To date, we’ve all been protected by the unworkability of finding compromising or embarrassing videos, comments, pictures, etc. AI is removing that protection.
Apple Open AI

Bottom line

Apple’s announcement will finally see consumers start to get direct benefits – on their own device, for their own lives and unique circumstances – from AI, rather than indirectly through external services.

Some will applaud this, while others worry that technology companies are building in AI because they can, without spending the time to figure out if they should.

Ultimately, Apple users trust Apple, both the technology and the company, and this deal with Open AI doesn’t really change that. As new information continues to surface, all eyes will continue to look forward to September, in anticipation and apprehension.

Connect with our experts and stay abreast of developments.

Nick Ellsmore

Cybersecurity Leader

Daniel Bradby

Apple Developer