Apple’s assigning device trust ratings based on our phone call and email habits

The recently released iOS 12 software update is packed with new features. One of those features, however, was never highlighted when iOS 12 was first announced in June, nor is it being promoted on Apple’s iOS 12 page. Instead, it’s only mentioned on the company’s updated iTunes policy page. The feature is an all-new device trust rating that Apple’s assigning to everyone who uses an iPhone to make purchases.

The Sun first discovered the device trust rating is based on your phone call and email habits. As confirmed by the iPhone maker, the score is based on the number of calls and emails you send and receive each day and used to determine whether fraudulent transactions have been made using your device.

Apple explains:

To help identify and prevent fraud, information about how you use your device, including the approximate number of phone calls or emails you send and receive, will be used to compute a device trust score when you attempt a purchase.

The submissions are designed so Apple cannot learn the real values on your device. The scores are stored for a fixed time on our servers.

Apple uses various anti-fraud systems to make sure payments made on its devices are legitimate. This newest system features a numeric trust score that’s associated with your device, not to your identity.

The data behind the score (number of phone calls, for example) is only stored on your device. Plus, when Apple sees the score, it doesn’t look at the contents of your communications. It also doesn’t read your email, and the scores are encrypted in transit.

Other important points:

  • Apple told The Sun that the calculated score is a single number, which is applied to a large number of accounts.
  • There’s no way to work backwards from the score to the actual user.
  • The score isn’t being used for advertising. Instead, it’s for fraud-prevention only.

It’s not possible to view the trust score on your device. However, Apple told The Sun you can request any of your data at any time from the Apple website.

Payment fraud is an ongoing problem that can affect any company in the world. Apple’s decision to add one additional line of defense doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Still, knowing that each of us is now indirectly being assigned a trust score based on our phone calls and email habits could sound a bit creepy to many.

Hopefully, we’ll hear more about this trust score from Apple soon for more clarification.

What do you think about this new device trust rating?