Apple has updated its dedicated Privacy website today, something it typically does each year following the release of new iPhones and a new version of iOS. The new Apple Privacy website offers a detailed look at the steps the company takes to protect user privacy and data through its latest hardware and software updates.
Apple first launched its Privacy tool to users back in May, but limited the primary download functionality to the European Union in order to comply with GDPR. Through this portal, users are able to download a copy of their data from Apple apps and services:
Download a copy of your data from Apple apps and services. This may include your purchase or app usage history and the data you store with Apple, such as calendars, photos, or documents.
Starting today, however, users in Australia, the United States, New Zealand, and Canada can download their data through Apple’s Data and Privacy portal.
The overarching goal of the Apple Privacy website is for the company to explain how it designs its hardware and software to ensure user privacy. Apple explains that it believes privacy is a fundamental human right:
At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right. And so much of your personal information — information you have a right to keep private — lives on your Apple devices. Your heart rate after a run. Which news stories you read first. Where you bought your last coffee. What websites you visit. Who you call, email, or message.
Every Apple product is designed from the ground up to protect that information. And to empower you to choose what you share and with whom. We’ve proved time and again that great experiences don’t have to come at the expense of your privacy and security. Instead, they can support them.
Among the updates to the Apple Privacy website this year include new details on iOS 12 features including Screen Time. Apple explains that Screen Time data is accessible only by you, not by Apple itself or any third-parties:
You can also use Screen Time to better understand and make choices about how much time your children spend using apps and websites. Activity Reports give you a detailed look at all of their usage, notifications, and device pickups – information that is accessible only to you, never to Apple or third parties. And you can set the amount of time your kids can spend each day on specific apps and websites.
Apple also offers details on Apple Music Friends, saying that it only has access “to the contacts you choose to add to Apple Music Friends specifically, not your entire contact list.”
For Safari on iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, Apple emphasizes that improvements to Intelligent Tracking Prevention mean third-party sites cannot “create cookies or store data” on their own — only when you provide your “explicit consent.”
The new Apple Privacy website also highlights Create ML and Core ML, new machine learning frameworks available to developers that empower them to “create powerful new app experiences that don’t require your data to leave your device.”
Ultimately, Apple’s Privacy webpage is meant to showcase its commitment to minimizing data collection, disassociating the user from any data that is collected, and being transparent about its privacy practices. Just last month, Tim Cook reaffirmed that Apple doesn’t buy into the narrative of needing to collect user data to improve products and services:
The narrative that some companies will try to get you to believe is ‘I’ve got to take all of your data to make my service better.’ Well, don’t believe that. Whoever’s telling you that – it’s a bunch of bonk.
Apple’s newly updated Privacy website can be viewed here.
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