Unlike Google, Apple Cares About Your Privacy (Mostly)

Unlike Google, Apple Cares About Your Privacy (Mostly)

Apple likes to say that it cares more about your privacy than other tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, but does that claim actually hold up? It turns out the answer is a pretty resounding yes.

Image: VisualHunt

How to See What Apple Knows About You

Similar to Google and Facebook, Apple now offers a tool to help you download a file with all the data it has on you. But unlike those other companies, Apple makes it a lot harder to get your hands on that information.

If you’re determined to get your hands on that data, the first thing you’ll want to do is head to Apple’s Privacy Policy page. Scroll down to the “Privacy Issues” section and click on the link titled “Privacy Contact Form”. You’ll be asked to pick your region and then select your problem from a drop down menu. Click on “Privacy Issues” and then fill out the form, writing something along the lines of “I am requesting a copy of my personal information”.

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Facebook knows way too much about all of us, but it's not the only company hoarding everyone's private data. Google knows just as much about us as Facebook (if not more), and that should trouble you, even if that data hasn't been used as recklessly - at least, not that we know of.

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Apple will eventually get in contact with you and request a bunch of information to confirm your identity (things such as your home address, phone number and the serial number on your iPhone). Once that’s approved, you’ll get the file. According to USA Today, the entire process takes about eight days – compared to a few hours for Google and just minutes for Facebook.

What’s in the file?

Short answer: Not a whole lot. USA Today says the entire thing was just nine megabytes (compared to a 243MB file from Google and an 881MB data dump from Facebook). Apple says that’s because it keeps most of your personal data secured on your own device.

Apple does have some info, though, including a record of all the apps and songs you’ve ever downloaded, the devices you’ve purchased, and any repairs made through Apple. It also knows your home address and your email address, but that’s about it.

Don’t expect a record of your Safari browsing history or a log of all the phone calls and text messages you ever made on an iPhone. There’s no transcript of your conversations with Siri either – Apple does collect some of that data in an effort to improve its AI assistant, but your identity isn’t included in that information so there’s no way to trace it back to you.


  • This is why I would trust Apple long before I would trust Facebook or Google.

    Actually, I don’t trust Facebook or Google. They exist to harvest data, and sell it.
    And they lie to everyone about it.

    • There’s no denying Google harvest data. If you read their t&c’s though, they are at least up front about it. Sure they do sell your data but unlike Facebook they are pretty up front about it.

      • And when they claim they will not harvest the data from Nest users, then decide to do so?

        When they give laptops to children claiming they won’t harvest their data, but actually do so?

        When they create apps that follow you even if you are not using them, after they tell you that’s not happening?

        Google have a history of lying to their users. And they will continue to lie.

        • I’m guessing you have never read the t&c’s cause they say all of that.
          If you don’t read the t&c’s your an idiot.
          Can I have some back up for these claims.

          • His claim is that he is a rabid fanboy and will never admit when apple does anything wrong. You should know this already from his repeated defence of apple through all means neccesary.

          • Back to trolling?

            As the article states, Apple have very little data on you.
            That doesn’t need a defence, it needs congratulating.

          • Where in the T&C does it state it’s their right to continually lie about what they are doing, and the user will simply accept it?

            Only an idiot would trust Google, or Facebook, with their data.
            Only an idiot would believe anything these companies say.

            Assume they are lying, and you will be right 99% of the time.

          • Keep going with the fanboy rage dude. Only makes us take your posts even less seriously. Im sure apple appreciates all you do and are preparing your reward for being the number 1 fanboy defender of apple!

    • I also trust Apple. They would never track all your movements without your knowledge, even with GPS turned off (they were doing it using cell towers) and then hide it on your computer every time you connect to iTunes. Never.

      They would never intentionally slow down old phones for years and never admit it until they are finally forced to with some poor excuse about batteries. For some reason, they have yet to reach the enlightenment of every other phone company in existence that can handle an older battery without randomly turning off the phone.

      They would never lie saying bigger phones and smaller tablets are horrible and no one needs ‘features’ they don’t have like which are basic usability stuff like copy and paste then turn around and release those products in the next cycle. They would never lie and say you need sandpaper to use a smaller screen, then release smaller devices without sandpaper.

      Being a fanboy is fun!

      • While I don’t disagree that this is a bit of fanboyism going on here, there’s a huge difference between harvesting data and your other two examples: namely slowing down a device to conserve battery power, or simple advertising/feature comparisons.

        • I thought the first point was the most serious, the tracking location thing they did. Only got found out because some guy went digging deep into all the iTunes temp stuff.

          • Again I don’t disagree with that – I’m pointing out that all the other stuff is just a petty inclusion of zero relevance. If you’re going to criticise someone for being a fanboy on an article about privacy at least be relevant.

            That said, there’s no indication that the information that the iPhones were storing in 2011 were transmitted to either Apple or a third party, and it was in the T&C that Apple could collect and use location-based data. So it’s equally as bad as Google or Facebook, except that Facebook’s usage was far, far worse. I guess we don’t really know the extent of Google’s use of our location data.

  • With Apple, hardware and apps are the product.
    With Google and Facebook, you are the product.

  • Apple was very honest and open about the battery-gate. I am ready to give away money for such honest company

    • Hey, our phones are so shittily designed, they can’t handle an older battery without slowing down even though we’ve known about this for years and it doesn’t effect anyone else. But if you give us more money, we’ll fix it for you.

      And you want to give them free money for this?

      Wow. I literally have no words.

    • Apple was very honest and open about the battery-gate.

      Only after widespread outrage and wide media coverage.

      Apple could have avoided all this by simply making users aware much earlier on.

      A simple “Your phone has had its performance slightly decreased due to battery wear, Please consider replacing the battery” Would have resulted in little to no outage at all.

  • Make sense, you pay what you got. Apple sell hardwares bundled with service, they are making heaps of money without tapping into your data. Why bother, not it can be a selling point.

    Econ 101: there is no such thing of free lunch.

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