user privacy

Apple this evening launched a new privacy site in an effort to increase transparency on how it protects user data, and to educate users on how they can better protect themselves. Additionally, Tim Cook has posted an open letter to Apple Customers detailing the various sections of the new site, as well as Apple’s stance on user privacy.

The move follows recent bad publicity for Apple, in which its laxed iCloud security measures were blamed for the hacking of high profile celebrity accounts, which resulted in a slew of nude photos being leaked. The company maintains that its servers were never breached, but Tim Cook promised to double down on security anyway.

Here’s a large excerpt from Cook’s letter:

At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That’s why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.

We believe in telling you up front exactly what’s going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us. And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.

We’re publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don’t collect, and why. We’re going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.
A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

That Apple would would link to this letter, and subsequently its new privacy site, from its homepage is telling. The company is on the verge of launching some major new products: Apple Pay, Apple Watch, and HealthKit apps—all of which are going to require users to trust Apple to protect their personal information more than ever before.

[Apple via The Wall Street Journal]

  • Framboogle

    Who does Tim Cook think he’s fooling?

    • He’s not fooling (or trying to fool) anyone. He’s simply speaking the truth! Apple doesn’t make users the product and doesn’t monetise any of the data on our devices or in iCloud. They don’t read messages or emails. Security is at the forefront even though it isn’t foolproof (yes things get hacked, bugs get found and exploited). In regards to backdoors I’d like to believe that what Tim says is true although there’s absolutely no way for Apple to prove that so we’ll just have to take their word on it.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        Apple removed carrier id a good while ago and I started to trust apple. today marks the strengthening of that trust 2 fold if not more. carrier id = still in all of androids today and the only way to remove is to root and delete them. pathetic.

      • sosarozay300

        thats true, when you buy a new android phone at the end of the setup it shows a pop up about that and theres nothing you can do the only options are close and more information

      • Antzboogie

        I hope so. I hope Apple doesn’t betray us. Privacy is important to some of us.

      • If privacy is really important to you then don’t give information to Apple in the first place…

        I have a server in my bedroom running an installation of OwnCloud. I store all of my contacts, calendars, reminders, notes, etc on it and just use iCloud for storing documents (by which I mean app data).

  • Eric M

    Your security will only be as strong as the steps you take to make it secure. If they want in they usually can find a way but don’t help them by making your password- password123

    • Bugs Bunnay

      dang it how did you know?? >.< gonna add an extra digit at the end now to make it stronger. you will never guess that one haha

  • Michael Duy

    Guys, how Much space have you now on an iPhone 5s? I Have 12.2Gb 🙁 Im really frustrated

    • Phil Randle

      About 15GB left off a 64GB, but I take a lot of photos, I am moving to a 128GB iPhone 6 tomorrow and iCloud Library will help too.

  • john diaz

    Whats up with the iDownload blog sigh its crooked.

    • Clear your cache. You should be fine

      • ARX8

        Instructions not clear enough. iPhone is running Jellybean now

    • Bugs Bunnay

      reformat your computer

    • Telco Biru User

      you should download more ram

    • Cesar D

      throw it thru the window. If it has windows ofc.

      Windows is the only place where Windows belongs. 😀

  • Kenrick Fernandes

    Wow, bad battery life on ios 8 : ( Anyone else. Usage of 3 hour and 7 minutes @ 19% on ios 8 vs a 5 hour 30 mins on ios 7

    • BoardDWorld

      A lot of things reset that you may have had in place before to give better battery life. The same happened to my wifes iPhone 4S. Go into our settings – usage and you can find details on what apps are using the most power. Mail was at the top of the list so I turned push off for every email account. There’s a lot in settings you can do to get a days use out of your iPhone.

  • Can’t trust any American tech giant, but can’t stop myself from using some of their products, so I try my best to never put real info in their hands as I use their product…