The iPhone group wants to position itself increasingly as a private sphere friendly. In the US and Canada, users can now also receive their stored data.
The iPhone maker has intensified its efforts to differentiate itself from other technology companies in privacy – which should also serve as an argument for the purchase of its products. Apple released on Wednesday a new version of its information website on the subject with detailed background on data protection solutions in the various Apple services.
Among other things, the company emphasizes (“How to protect your privacy”) that it collects as little data as possible about the users directly and that it only collects information anonymously. In addition, it explains in more detail in which cases data is only processed on the devices – and when and under which conditions also information is processed in the iCloud.
Apple wants to position itself clearly
For example, users can decide themselves how to manage their health and fitness data in the iOS app Health. “You decide how you use or share personal information with the Health App, and you decide what data is stored in the Health App and who has access to it.” The information is always encrypted with a lock code, Touch ID or Face ID; they are stored in iCloud, they are secured both during the transfer and on Apple’s servers.
At the same time as the launch of the new information website, Apple has also begun to allow users in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to download their data stored at the corporation. Corresponding tool users in the EU within the framework of the GDPR have long been used.
Backups still accessible
Apple also reviewed details of the in-house communications services iMessage and FaceTime. These are protected by a “continuous encryption”. Apps from other vendors who use iMessage would not have access to the contact details or conversations of the participants. Apple also mentions that iMessage and SMS land in iCloud backup – but this could disable the user.
The backup is of particular interest to police authorities because it currently protects Apple only with its own key, which is issued by court order. Google plans to protect Android backups in the cloud from third-party access.
Apple makes money
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been stressing for some time that the group earns its money primarily by selling devices and does not rely on the data of its users. He is trying to draw a clear line on Facebook and Google, which are repeatedly criticized for privacy.
On criticism that Apple could lose its connection to Google & Co. by its comparatively gentle approach to data protection, because about the language assistance system Siri has less training information, Cook reacts regularly with incomprehension. This is “big nonsense”.