All the data Apple collects about you and how to limit it

6 months ago

When I turned on personalized ads (I previously turned it off), Apple’s ad targeting information says I’m included in segments based on my age (starting from my date of birth), my gender (which can be inferred if I didn’t tell Apple ) and location (based on my registered zip code). Apple also listed my interests in 10 different app categories, including productivity, sports, news, and business. As far as movies go, I’m in the Action and Adventure category, as well as Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The company’s documentation also states that the App Store’s “browsing activity” is also used to determine which ads may be shown to you. “App Store Browsing activity includes content and apps that you click and browse while browsing the App Store. This information is aggregated by user, so it does not identify you. company documents say.

This data can be extensive. “Everything is tracked and sent to Apple in near real time,” says Tommy Mysk, an app developer and security researcher who runs Mysk with fellow developer Talal Haj Bakri. In November, researchers from Mysk demonstrated How were taps on the screen recorded when using the app store. Their subsequent research showed that analytics data can be used to identify people.

“The App Store is special because there is no other way out,” says Mysk. “There is no other choice. If you don’t like Apple Music’s privacy statement, fine. You can use Spotify – there are alternatives. There is nothing in the App Store.”

The study led to two class action lawsuits against Apple. Separate data regulator of France Apple fined for advertising practices. Apple spokesman Shane Bauer said the company is “disappointed” with France’s decision and plans to appeal. “Apple Search Ads goes further than any other digital advertising platform we know of, giving users a clear choice of whether they want personalized ads or not,” Bauer says. “In addition, Apple Search Ads never tracks users across third-party apps and websites, and only uses its own data to personalize ads.”

Bauer adds that privacy protections are built into all of his apps. “Identifying information is never shared with third parties and is not used to track users across apps and websites,” Bauer says. “All data used for advertising purposes is not associated with personal identifiers, and Apple Advertising operates on the basis of anonymized data.”

Apple says that in the first quarter of last year, 78% of App Store searches where people might have been shown ads were from devices that had personalized ads turned off—the “conversion rate” for advertisers is basically the same for personalized ads. and contextual advertising, it says.

Apple policy for Siri says that if you use the service, your requests are associated with a random ID, not your Apple ID. Apple also creates “computer transcripts of your Siri requests” to better understand you. The company states that the random ID it uses is not associated with any other Apple data of yours, nor is it sold or used to create a “marketing profile”.

How to Limit the Data Apple Collects

Apple may opt-out of showing you interest-based ads in the app stores, news, TV, and Stocks apps. If you would like to disable Apple’s personalized ads on iOS, you can do so by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Apple advertisement and shutdown Personalized advertising. You can also use this menu, if you have personalization turned on, to view information about the ad targeting that Apple uses to show you certain ads.

The two places where Apple uses your data for advertising, the Apple News and Stocks apps, may have their own settings to change the identifiers associated with you. Within Settings and then the details for each app, you can turn on the option to reset the identifiers that are reported to publishers.

in Privacy & Security the Apple settings section might also be worth considering Analytics and improvements. In this setting, you can stop Apple from collecting iPhone and iCloud analytics data that it says it uses to improve its products and services. If you would like to access the data Apple holds about you, you can access it through company download tool.

Albert Fox Kahn, chief executive of civil rights and privacy group Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, says Apple should do more to bring attention to its recently announced iCloud encrypted backups. “Many users don’t realize how vulnerable iCloud data (including device backups and messages) is by default,” Kan says.

Similarly, it’s worth spending some time checking permissions for your other apps and device sensors in Privacy & Security chapter. You can change your location settings by viewing which apps can see your location and when; prevent third-party apps like Facebook from tracking you on your iPhone; and see what permissions you have given to what apps.


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