One of the side effects of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is that it puts control and visibility our personal data in our hands. And while compliance with the GDPR doesn't offer protection in the event of a data breach, it does protect you when it comes to being able to see what data is being held by a company about you.
Apple has made a GDPR-style tool available for everyone who has an Apple ID so you can see what data Apple has about you.
When you visit Apple's Privacy page and log in, you have four options for managing your personal data. You can:
- Obtain a copy of all the data Apple has about you including purchase or app usage history and the data you store with Apple, such as calendars, photos or documents
- Correct any errors you see in the data
- Deactivate your account so that your data is retained by Apple but your account is inactive.
- Delete your account
As far as I can tell none of these functions are new but the information was dispersed across multiple locations. And you'll need some patience and disk space to collect everything if you choose to download everything Apple has. As well as your activity with Apple, you can download all your email, photos and documents stored on iCloud which, if you have upgraded your storage, could be a hefty pile of information.
While data breaches are a fact of life having control of what data about us is stored is a positive step.
Facebook also allows you to download all your personal information. Once you're logged into Facebook, go to Settings and click or tap on "Your Facebook information" on the left side and choose the "Download your info action option".