What You Need To Know About Apple's New Privacy Tools

Apple Now Openly Tells US Users What Info It Has on Them

All of the major technology companies suck up swathes of data about their users, and Apple is no different.

The iPhone maker says the new privacy portal, available on the company's "Data and Privacy" webpage, is part of an effort to put customers "in control" of their information. But Apple's practice has been to keep much of that data on the devices themselves and encrypt it with the user's pass code, meaning that Apple does not possess the data and can not unscramble it if asked to do so by law enforcement officials.

Users will receive an email to inform them that the data is being prepared, although it appears that there is a delay now. This data includes app usage history, account details and sign-in records, calendars, photos and documents stored in iCloud, and data associated with Apple Music and Game Center. This data can include transaction history, Apple app history, AppleCare history, marketing data, and more.

When you visit Apple's Privacy page and log in, you have four options for managing your personal data.

A month after its most recent iPhone and Mac launches, Apple has refreshed its privacy pages. As of writing, the website hasn't been fully updated yet, but should be by the end of today.

In the upper toolbar, click on "Manage Your Privacy" and then scroll down to the heading that reads 'Take charge of your data'.

If you choose to download your data, you'll be directed to a page that lets you check off what you would like downloaded. According to Apple this process can take up to 7 days to complete.

Apple's privacy effort also covers governments trying to harvest the data, with the company stating that while it complies with law enforcement requests, it reviews them carefully and challenges or rejects ones that it consider overly broad, inappropriate or unclear. 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 uses differential privacy to discern which features need to be improved, without having to study data on an individual user's activity. Deactivating your account is said to restrict access to your data-and, naturally, prevent you from using Apple services-until it's restored.

The site also goes into how Apple protects your data, with the latest feature including encrypted FaceTime calls.

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