Privacy is a very big deal for millions of people around the world who use mobile devices and social media. The challenge for many people is knowing exactly what data social networks and devices are collecting from you. Apple is trying to make it easier for users of its devices to see what is being gathered and stored, and to facilitate that sharing of information the privacy page has been revamped in the U.S.
The verbiage on the page hasn’t changed from what was there before; Apple still says that it sees privacy as a “fundamental human right.” The big change comes in the expansion of the data portal to let users of Apple devices in the U.S. download a copy of the data that is gathered and stored about them. This is the same sort of data that Apple users in Europe were given access to in May when new EU data protection rules went into effect. Those new rules forced companies, such as Apple, to allow users to download their data.
Apple now allows its customers to download their data in Europe, Canada, Australia, and the United States. Reports indicate that unlike some other companies out there, notably Facebook and Google, Apple doesn’t store much data about its users. Data that is available for users to download includes purchase history and marketing information. All the other data stored about users is reportedly encrypted and can’t be turned over, or is held for a short duration and then deleted.
As for how you get the data, start by going to privacy.apple.com and logging in with your Apple ID and password. If you use two-factor authentication, you will need that as well. Once logged in, there is a link for “Obtain a copy of your data,” and you can choose the specific data to download, or there is a “select all” option that gives you everything. Apple’s site then forces you to go through another authentication process, asking for data that the account holder should know.
Once that is complete, the data is compiled, and an email will be sent when it is available for download. The actual file with your data is a .zip, and Apple gives two weeks to download the data once it is offered. This feature is rolling out to all U.S. customers, but if you don’t see the link to request the data when you log into the privacy website, check back later; it may take a while to roll out to all users.