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.
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.
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.Read more
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.