Author Topic: Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.  (Read 623 times)

elagache

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Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.
« on: May 07, 2018, 12:19:11 AM »
Dear WeatherCat users concerned about nosy technology companies,

Facebook and Google have been criticized for the personal data they collect and how they use it.  However, Apple also is able to collect a great deal of information about you from your Mac and iOS devices.  Recently, a journalist requested all the data that Apple had on him using European rules on such things.  The results are reported in this article:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2018/05/04/asked-apple-everything-had-me-heres-what-got/558362002/

Some things weren't unexpected like Apple has a record of all purchases associated with online services.  How can Apple replace an app or digital music file if it doesn't keep track of your purchases.  However, they have records that might not seem so expected or appropriate for Apple.  For example, they have your browsing history for Safari.  That is the very same information that has gotten Google in hot water.  Of course, Google can use that browsing history in a way that Apple doesn't appear to be able to do at least internally.

Still, if that sort of data in anybody's hands concerns you, you might want to consider using more than one browser.  Having every company with an incomplete picture of your online activities is probably the best defense we can have against nosy corporations.

Cheers, Edouard

Weatheraardvark

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Re: Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 04:44:29 AM »
For me, I really don't care.  However with the latest two MacOSX  apple does give one some leeway of opting out of some data.

It would be naive for  me to believe that everything posted on the internet is safe from data mining, including what I am typing now.  I guess a good concept to hammer into kids heads would be, don't put anything on the internet, search any site you don't want to be associated with.  that nothing,even if it is purged, it is located somewhere.

Mom used to tell me  "nothing in life is free. If  it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."   When we pay nothing for Twitter, Facebook, etc....   don't assume that the service is given without some cost, even if it mines your data.

Now I need to go to bed,   That black van across the street with the two guys in it must be tired staring over hear.  I think one is named Boris, and the other is Natasha..
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xairbusdriver

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Re: Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 05:03:02 AM »
Quote
When we pay nothing for Twitter, Facebook
"Paying" assumes you are a "customer". We are not "customers" of TwitFace or any other 'social media'. One more time, we are their product! We give them all our comments, images, clicks, views for free and they sell that data to the highest bidder who is their customer. And they are making a tidy little profit at it. [rockon]

They have admitted that they are simply drug dealers. The excel in figuring out ways to give us a dopamine hit as often as possible so we will stay on their site as long as possible. We are nothing more than drug users to them... not to put too fine a point on it. [rolleyes2]

At least with Apple, I have something tangible sitting on my desk or in my pocket. And it can be extremely helpful and even life-saving!

Weatheraardvark

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Re: Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 09:21:06 PM »
perhaps we should get rid of our phones as we did way back 50 years ago.  Write letters with stamps and use the landlines.   Use the card catalog at the library.

Also,those who are dearly worried should stop doing those things that they might worry about Big Brother (or Big Bother)  for latching on to the data and information.

Trust me,  I have been using computers for almost 40 years,  I am sure whoever is looking finds me boring.
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Blicj11

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Re: Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 09:54:54 PM »
Some things weren't unexpected like Apple has a record of all purchases associated with online services.  How can Apple replace an app or digital music file if it doesn't keep track of your purchases.  However, they have records that might not seem so expected or appropriate for Apple.  For example, they have your browsing history for Safari.  That is the very same information that has gotten Google in hot water.  Of course, Google can use that browsing history in a way that Apple doesn't appear to be able to do at least internally.

Methinks thou hast misread the sentence. From the article, "The one sentence highlight: a list of my downloads, purchases and repairs, but not my search histories through the Siri personal assistant or the Safari browser." (Boldface added by me.)

The article states just the opposite of your summary. The author was surprised at how little data Apple was keeping on him, compared to the social media giants.

Thanks for posting the link; I have requested my data from Apple because I am curious.
Blick


elagache

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Dear Weatheraardvark, X-Air, Blick, and WeatherCat concerned about private data types,

Methinks thou hast misread the sentence. From the article, "The one sentence highlight: a list of my downloads, purchases and repairs, but not my search histories through the Siri personal assistant or the Safari browser." (Boldface added by me.)

Phew! . . .

My apologies! :-[  Somehow I got that Siri searches weren't preserved but somehow I lost the connection to Safari.  That certainly makes me feel better.  There was no reason for Apple to collect anything more than coarse statistics on the users of Apple products.  They only need to know how to make the experience of browsing and other software better.   

Thanks for posting the link; I have requested my data from Apple because I am curious.

Do let us know what you discover!

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

Blicj11

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Re: Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 06:39:49 PM »
I requested from Apple a copy of whatever data they are keeping on me. They replied within two days as follows:

Quote
Thank you for contacting Apple's privacy team.

At Apple, we take the privacy and security of your personal information very seriously. We design our products and services with
this in mind.

We can arrange for a report of your account details as controlled by Apple.

However, to ensure security of your personal information, we need to confirm your identity. Could you please send me the following
information associated with the account, where available:
- full name
- Apple ID if known
- email address
- street address
- telephone number
- a registered product serial number
- AppleCare support case number, or date and time of AppleCare support chat
Please do not send any sensitive information such as credit card details or passwords.

I provided that information and a little less than a month later they sent me an encrypted zip file. It contained several excel spreadsheets (which I thought was funny - they did not send me Numbers spreadsheets) with various logs, containing such things as:
  • iCloud logs
  • Mail logs
  • FaceTime logs
  • iTunes Purchases
  • AppleCare calls
  • and a few other things
They have one file that has my contact information in it and all of the rest of the logs contained absolutely no personal information other than my name and Apple ID. Even the iTunes purchases log had some type of encryption so that the plain text name of whatever I was purchasing was not identified.

They said this, in the email containing the zip file:
Quote
We are complying with your request in full and are not refusing access to any personal data held on a relevant filing system in relation to you. The attached password protected file provides the data to you that is not otherwise available to you in your account. We have also included a description of the fields in the document that may not otherwise be apparent. We have not included information contained within your account, if any, such as calendar contents, email contents, iTunes content etc. If you use iCloud you will note that we have extremely short retention periods for how long we store such data and we have provided all data that was available to us at the time at which we processed your request on our systems.

I would also like to highlight the attached from our recent message on Customer Privacy at http://www.apple.com/apples-commitment-to-customer-privacy:
“For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.”

Our privacy policy at www.apple.com/privacy sets out the categories of personal data in our control, our purposes of processing and the circumstances in which personal data may be disclosed to third parties.

We are, of course, available to provide any further clarifications or answer any queries in relation to your data that you may have.

Overall, I am satisfied with Apple's commitment to privacy and am impressed with their willingness to share with me a copy of what their servers are tracking about my interactions with the company.
Blick


elagache

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Thanks for sharing! (Re: What user-data is kept by Apple.)
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2018, 10:18:48 PM »
Dear Blick and WeatherCat privacy watchers,

I requested from Apple a copy of whatever data they are keeping on me.

. . . .

I provided that information and a little less than a month later they sent me an encrypted zip file. It contained several excel spreadsheets (which I thought was funny - they did not send me Numbers spreadsheets) with various logs, containing such things as:
  • iCloud logs
  • Mail logs
  • FaceTime logs
  • iTunes Purchases
  • AppleCare calls
  • and a few other things

. . . . .

Overall, I am satisfied with Apple's commitment to privacy and am impressed with their willingness to share with me a copy of what their servers are tracking about my interactions with the company.

Thanks for sharing!  [tup]  Sounds like indeed Apple is truly "walking the walk" when it comes to user privacy.

It contained several excel spreadsheets (which I thought was funny - they did not send me Numbers spreadsheets) with various logs . . .

I guess that settles the matter for me of whether or not to upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Office!  ;D

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

xairbusdriver

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Re: Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2018, 10:28:28 PM »
Numbers can probably open that Excel spread sheet since that's likely how it was created. Apple simply want to make it easy for Windows users who are also using Apple products. You know they would freak out if given a .numbers file. They would probably suspect it was some kind of malware; Windows can only use .3 suffixes!  lol(1) OK, it's almost that bad...

Heard an interview with Mr. Cook today, he claims Apple has never been nor wants to be a data collection company.

I am surprised that the report is available, I thought I'd read that it would months before it would be available in the US. I thought it was first available for the EU group.
Quote from: TidBITS, May 31
This feature is currently available to users in the European Union, as well as members of the European Single Market: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Apple has said it will roll out this feature worldwide in the coming months.

Blicj11

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Re: Thanks for sharing! (Re: What user-data is kept by Apple.)
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2018, 05:58:02 PM »
I guess that settles the matter for me of whether or not to upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Office!  ;D

I made that jump a few months ago (to Office 365 from Office for Mac 2011) and am a satisfied customer. Except for the fact that it requires a subscription, which just means over the long haul, they will extract more cash from you than the old way. But the monthly updates to the products are nice, and tech support is good. Subscription models appear to be the way of the future for more and more companies. I did give Numbers and Pages a fair trial, but if you are doing anything more than simple documents, they don't cut it when you have to share documents and spreadsheets with others. And Apple hasn't really provided any meaningful upgrades to what used to be called the iWork collection for years now. I am still pretty satisfied with Keynote and the ability to use either my iPhone or Apple Watch as a remote device for controlling presentation slides, but for serious users, Pages and Numbers just don't have enough fire power.
Blick


xairbusdriver

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Re: Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2018, 07:13:17 PM »
Quote
Apple [claims it] has never been nor wants to be a data collection company.
And now we hear that Apple and several other hardware makers have been receiving data about users of their products... anonymized, I'm sure... "If we collect it, they will want it."

elagache

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Dear Blick, X-Air, and WeatherCat penny-pinchers,

I made that jump a few months ago (to Office 365 from Office for Mac 2011) and am a satisfied customer.

I just checked and office 2016 is still available as a one-time purchase:

https://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Office-Home-Student-2016/dp/B0148BYIPY/

So you don't have to subscribe if you don't want you.

Cheers, Edouard

Blicj11

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Re: Article on what user-data is kept by Apple.
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2018, 09:03:40 AM »
Yes, I considered the one-time option and determined that with the rapid changes being made to both macOS and the Microsoft Office Suite that I would be better off to subscribe to Office 365 in order to obtain both the monthly updates to Office and tech support from the Office for Mac team for a longer period of time than accompanies the one-time purchase. I used Office for Mac 2011 as a one-time purchase for almost 7 years but do not believe I can get even half that long out of another one-time purchase. And Microsoft currently offers no upgrades or free tech support for the one-time purchaser.
Blick