Last week, Apple launched a refreshed privacy website to better educate customers on how the company works to protect the user’s personal data across all of its products and services, as well as opening up a system for U.S. users to request all of their data from Apple.
A few months ago, if you wanted to find out what kind of personal information the tech company had collected on you, you needed to navigate to Apple’s privacy website, locate the hard-to-find tab and request the info and await for its arrival. Now, the introduction of a new privacy portal will offer one click access to get the information, delete it, pause an Apple.com account or kill it all together. However, users will still need to wait for a few days before the information can be retrieved.
Requests for information can be made using Apple’s updated privacy site. The company claims that while the process can still take up to a few days, they have made the tools easily accessible for their users.
The “Our Approach to Privacy” section gives users an overview on how Apple protects a user’s personal information. It explains how a variety of different techniques and tools are used across various apps and services, such as encryption and using on-device intelligence, while also teaching the user about concepts like Differential Privacy, which allows for some data to be collected by Apple but with extra random information added to prevent it from being linked to a specific device.
In cases like Apple Pay, Apple details how a credit or debit card’s data is used to set up the service, namely that it is securely sent to the card issuer for confirmation and not stored on servers, but a unique Device Account Number is created and stored only on the device’s Secure Element. Purchases aren’t tracked, through anonymized transaction information is collected for analysis purposes, and that the Device Account Number and a dynamic security code are used for the transaction rather than any actual card details.
The Privacy webpage update is part of Apple’s effort for transparency in its security, to prove to consumers how serious it is about privacy and preventing anyone from accessing a user’s data without their permission. At a time when tech giants are being accused of abusing user data for financial gain, as well as instances of poor security practices being implemented, it has become even more important for Apple to retain trust from its users.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly advised Apple believes privacy is a “fundamental human right,” a statement it includes prominently as one of the first things users see when they access the webpage.