Concerns over digital privacy and data protection have never been more prominent.
Many of the devices we use every day, including our smartphones, are packed with sensitive data about our lives and recent high profile hacks have highlighted the issues we all face in this high-tech era.
Apple has always been incredibly upfront about what data it stores and how it uses this information but it’s now launched an update to its website to help customers fully understand how seriously it takes the security of personal information.
The firm’s refreshed privacy page now reveals exactly what information is stored and how Apple accesses it.
Unlike some technology firms, Apple is keen to make clear that it doesn’t harvest any data for marketing or advertising purposes with them saying, “privacy is a fundamental human right”.
Some good examples of the way Apple sets out to keep your data private includes full end-to-end encryption on all correspondence that are sent between devices via Messages and FaceTime apps.
This means only those involved in the conversation can read or see what’s being said.
Apple also states that information on trips using its Maps software or queries made via Siri aren’t gathered, stored or ever used by third parties and all sensitive data such as fingerprints and facial recognition are only held locally on a device.
If you use Apple Pay it’s also good to know that Apple doesn’t keep a history of your spending or where you shop.
And to make sure your credit card information is safe, a device-specific number is created and kept walled off from the rest of your iOS device. Neither Apple nor your device shares actual credit card numbers with merchants.
Along with protecting its own hardware, Apple is also trying to help users from being tracked when using the web.
This means you not only get full control over the way your interactions are monitored but you can also stop a practice called fingerprinting.
When you browse the internet your device can be identified by a unique set of its characteristics such as its configuration.
Apple’s new Mojave operating system removes those unique identifiers to make fingerprinting much harder.
Of course, some data is collected by Apple but the firm wants to reassure users why it does this.
“When we use data to create better experiences for you, we work hard to do it in a way that doesn’t compromise your privacy,” Apple’s website confirms.
“One example is our pioneering use of Differential Privacy, where we scramble your data and combine it with the data of millions of others.
“So we see general patterns, rather than specifics that could be traced back to you.
“These patterns help us identify things like the most popular emoji, the best QuickType suggestions, and energy consumption rates in Safari.”
You can find out more about Apple’s privacy and security via its website.
The update to Apple’s privacy pages come as the firm’s CEO, Tim Cook, will deliver the keynote speech at Debating Ethics, the public session of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, on Wednesday, October 24.
Entitled Debating Ethics: Dignity and Respect in Data Driven Life, the public session of the conference will kick-start a global conversation on right and wrong in the development and use of digital technology.
Speaking ahead of the event Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said: “We are delighted that Tim has agreed to speak at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners.
“Tim has been a strong voice in the debate around privacy, as the leader of a company which has taken a clear privacy position, we look forward to hearing his perspective.
“He joins an already superb line up of keynote speakers and panellists who want to be part of a discussion about technology serving humankind.”