You can soon see (and delete) everything Apple knows about you

Apple takes privacy seriously
A pop-up in iOS 11.3 gives Apple’s commitment to privacy.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac



Apple
will soon let you download all the information it has stored
about you, modify it, or even delete it. The privacy change is
required by a new European law, but is also in-line with
Apple’s policy to not spy on its customers. This sets it
apart from rivals like Google and Facebook.

Apple gathers some information about its
customers, but it doesn’t create in-depth personal profiles.
And the page for managing Apple IDs will soon allow you to see
everything the company knows about you, make changes, or delete
it, according to
Bloomberg
.

This will include more than just contact information. You’ll
be able to erase what Apple thinks are your favorite songs,
for example.


Apple
committed to privacy


A pop-up
window in the
just-released iOS 11.3
sums it the company’s attitude:
“Apple believes privacy is a fundamental human right, so
every Apple product is designed to minimize the collection
and use of your data, use on-device processing whenever
possible, and provide transparency and control over your
information.”


Violating
customer privacy just isn’t Apple’s business model. “We could
make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our
customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that,” CEO
Tim Cook said in an interview with
Recode and MSNBC
.

The opposing strategy


In
contrast, Google and Facebook are in the business of collecting
as much data about us as possible, and then selling these
profiles to advertisers. We’re the product and ad buyers are
the customers. 


There’s
growing opposition to this tactic, especially in the wake of

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal
. As just one
example,
Facebook delayed the release of its HomePod rival
because
people expected it would spy on them.  

Not just benevolence


The
cynical might point out that Apple became a bit more devoted
to privacy when the European Union’s General Data
Protection Regulation (GDPR) act passed. This requires
companies to get consent from users to collect their data,
gives consumers the right to be forgotten, and there’s a
requirement that data breeches be reported within three days.
Basically, Apple promises to do what it’s legally required to
do.

Although the GDPR covers just E.U. citizens, there will
surely be complaints if residents of that continent get
privacy protections that Americans do not.



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