Apple launches privacy website, gives users more control
Apple has unveiled a new privacy website (https://www.apple.com/privacy/) that helps users take control of their data and kee
p it safe. The privacy website will tell users how to keep their data safe while also giving them access to ways to manage their data better and understand Apple’s privacy as a “fundamental human right” philosophy.
“At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right. And so much of your personal information — information you have a right to keep private — lives on your Apple devices. Your heart rate after a run. Which news stories you read first. Where you bought your last coffee. What websites you visit. Who you call, email, or message. Every Apple product is designed from the ground up to protect that information. And to empower you to choose what you share and with whom,” the opening message on the new site said.
Apple is thinking differently when it comes to your data. In fact, the company is now designing products and products and services “to minimise collection of personal data”. Where it does collect data, Apple wants to be transparent about it. This comes from the thinking that the customer is not the product and their business model does not depend on collecting vast amounts of “personally identifiable information to enrich targeted profiles marketed to advertisers”.
There are four pillars on which Apple has built its concept of privacy
— Minimising personal data
— On device processing
— Transparency and control
To minimise personal data, iOS and macOS devices are now built to be able to process locally, collect only purpose-specific data and randomise data to ensure that it is not identifiable at a granular level. What a lot of companies are doing on the cloud using their servers, Apple is now doing on the device thanks to powerful chips like the A12 Bionic.
Even if it has to use data to create better user experiences, the idea is to do it without compromising privacy. So everything from News to Siri and Maps stops well short of associating the actions to the user or an Apple ID. All these services use “privacy-friendly random identifiers” to prevent a comprehensive profile of the customer from being created. The health research initiatives too collect only “data disassociated from a customer’s name and account”.
On the new website, Apple has one again clarified that only when the new “Data and Security” icon appears does it ask for personal data. All the other services, where this icon does not appear, does not need personal data from then users. The website also has the iOS 12 security white paper as well as the white paper for Face ID security.
Also on the Apple privacy website is the tool unveiled earlier this year for users in the European Union in response to the region’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Now Apple will now let users in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand see and download all information it has on them. It also gives users a simpler way to make changes to the data, suspend their Apple account or even permanently delete it.