Catalina’s log can’t be unprivatised

If you’ve ever accessed the unified log in macOS Sierra or later, you’ll have seen the many log entries whose crucial information is censored with <private>. Apple introduced this to prevent leakage of protected information into the log, which is an admirable aim, but unfortunately it makes many entries farcical. If you’re really unlucky, the key information for which you’re accessing the log in the first place appears there as <private>.

Apps like Cirrus have relied on an undocumented setting which can be changed by the command
log config --mode 'private_data:off'
run with root privileges. That removes all censorship until it is turned back on using
log config --mode 'private_data:on'

This setting can also be checked through a button in LockRattler: you don’t want to leave privacy turned off unnecessarily.

macOS Catalina changes this. Indeed, 10.15 appears to have changed the log config options so that they no longer work as advertised, let alone for this invaluable and undocumented feature.

Until we discover whether there is a workaround for Catalina, I’m afraid that Cirrus is unable to remove privacy censorship from its log. I have checked, though, and the trick does still work in Mojave and earlier. My sincere apologies, but this is out of my control.

Thanks to Carrick, who was the first to inform me of this problem.