At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right.
That is how Apple started their explanation and understanding of privacy on the revamped Apple Privacy site today. This opening sentence sets a very clear mark for Apple’s view point on privacy, your data, and how critical it is to the very nature of the company.
The new site, which can be found here, outlines Apple’s approach to privacy as well as how to manage your privacy, and the company’s transparency report where you can see the number of requests they get from governments and law enforcement.
Apple outlines in the “Our Approach to Privacy” section how the company goes about protecting user’s personal data. It explains the different techniques and tools used across apps and services. It also talks about how some data is collected but with extra random information to prevent it from being linked to a specific device. This section also talks about how Apple Pay uses unique device account numbers for transactions and that number is only stored on the device, in the device’s Secure Element. Purchases made through Apple Pay are not tracked although some anonymized transaction information is collected for analysis.
In the “Manage your Privacy” section, Apple gives advice to users on how to secure their devices and accounts such as using 2-Factor Authentication. Perhaps the biggest change in this section however is that all US users can now request a copy of all of their data. Apple, like many companies, had to support the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) earlier this year which, as a key part of the regulation, allows users to request data, deactivate and delete their accounts. That feature essentially is now in the US so you can do the same thing as our friends in Europe.
While no company that has your personal data is perfect, Apple included, the Cupertino company is being very crisp in their message to users and outline how important user privacy is to them. It is, based on comments here and by CEO Tim Cook, a fundamental right in their eyes.