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If I hide my email address for an app signup, get a private relay address, and subsequently reply, in the Mail app (iOS 14.5), to an email sent to me via that address then Mail will use my default email account (with my name literally part of the address) to send my reply.

In all other cases Mail replies by default from the account associated with the address that the incoming email was sent to, and so doesn't leak my other addresses. For me this means that in practice the private relay feature is actually less private than when I just use my regular addresses.

The support page for the feature states

Any messages sent to this address by the app or website developer are automatically forwarded to your personal email address by our private email relay service. You can read and respond directly to these emails and still keep your personal address private.

Since Mail apparently doesn't take any steps itself to not leak my addresses when using this private relay feature, what must I do every time I want to reply from my private address to an incoming message? Always select an arbitrary from address that is associated with the iCloud account that owns the private address?

iOS 14.5

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You have to do nothing.

The reply-to address is actually a private relay address, mapping my personal address to the private relay address server-side.

I should perhaps have inspected the destination address (and not just its display name) before asking.

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