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How much does Apple know about me?
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-05-04 23:16:27

Following Facebook's acknowledgement that it had let a political ad targeting firm scrape the personal data of 87 million users, I rushed to see what kind of personal data the social network and Google had gathered on me. Both had more information, reaching back longer, than I had envisioned.

So Apple was next. I use an iPhone, iPad and two Mac computers, and Apple also offers data downloads in the privacy section of its website. It's hard to find, and once you do make the connection, you can expect a hefty wait to get the results. But don't expect to stay up all night reading what Apple has on you.

Hint: it ain't much.

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Not much has changed
By flypig on 2018-05-05 10:02:46
In 2013 I did the same thing by making a data subject access request to Apple for all my data. The results were pretty similar back then too. They came back with a spreadsheet of all my appstore and iTunes downloads, iCloud logs, and my personal details (*including* my phone number). It's good to see that they genuinely appear not to have extended their data collection by much over the last five years.

However, nothing I've read about the way Siri recordings are tied to anonymised IDs convinces me that the information isn't personally identifiable. Apple claims it "generates a random number to represent the user and it associates the voice files with that number", but it doesn't explain why the process of associating the user with the number can't be reversed. It might be awkward to do, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible (e.g. in the context of a court order). Apple refused to give me any info about the process when I asked back in 2013.

I also made a second request six months later to find out the rate at which the data accumulated, but I was unimpressed when Apple refused to honour it. So I'm glad they're introducing a streamlined way to access this data now.

So while I was unimpressed with the way Apple handled my request back then, I'm impressed they've not been tempted to extend their data collection practices much since.
Permalink - Score: 7
So you don't get a backup of your search history?
By DJMatus23 on 2018-05-05 10:05:19
I quite like being able to switch devices and have my search history come with me...also, not having to manually backup my settings and history when wiping/replacing a device.

I don't use Apple devices much, so how does this work in Apple world if it is locked to a specific device?
Permalink - Score: 2
RE[2]: Not much has changed
By flypig on 2018-05-05 18:19:13
> > In 2013 I did the same thing by making a data subject access request to Apple for all my data.
And people wonder why Apple products are expensive.

Yes, well by law they were required to provide the data, but were also entitled to charge me an admin fee. I offered to pay it, but they didn't take me up on it.
Permalink - Score: 4
Comment by Licaon_Kter
By Licaon_Kter on 2018-05-05 20:03:42
> Hint: it ain't much.

Hint: you ain't using their services.

This is an apples to googles comparison, why would this matter?

Now, if you'd use AMail (A is for Apple) or AppleTube or Aaze or ADrive... please do compare them.

Oh, great, Siri does not track you (or at least that's what they've said)... Yay, a victory for privacy, I guess it makes the iPhone X worth 1000$!
Permalink - Score: 3

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