Apple privacy, and how to improve it

Approx Reading Time: 9 minutes

You don’t have to be super tech-savvy to know that Apple is one of the largest tech companies in the world and the maker of the most famous Smartphone in the world the iPhone. Apple has always marketed its devices and services as being user privacy-focused and encrypted to protect user data. In fact, the latest iOS 13 claims to be the most privacy oriented OS rolled out by Apple yet. But there are still some privacy related questions in the minds of Apple users who value the privacy of their data more than anything.

Some commonly asked questions about Apple user privacy practices are as follows:

How does Apple deal with user privacy?

  • Apple ensures user privacy by encrypting user data, using two-factor authentication, and localizing the data storage on devices.

How can you improve your privacy if you use an Apple product?

  • Your Apple device comes with built-in features that you can use to improve your privacy level such as turning off location data and turning off Ad tracking.

How can you get information removed from Apple?

  • You can delete your Apple ID and remove all your information associated with it.

How can you find out what information Apple has about you?

  • You can download a copy of your data using Apple’s privacy portal to know what information Apple has on you.

Does Apple tell you who they share your information with?

  • Apple shares user data with its subsidiaries that abide by Apple’s privacy policy and legal parties under certain circumstances.

Does Apple remove user information from third parties?

  • Apple deletes user data from third parties that abide by its privacy policy.
Apple privacy, and how to improve it 1

As you have probably guessed from the above answers that Apple does take its user privacy seriously. It makes sense too since Apple is not a data company and it makes money by selling hardware and online services to us. But there are a lot more details to Apple’s user privacy protection practices which we will discuss in this article so keep reading.

How does Apple deal with user privacy?

Apple has some of the most elaborate user privacy protection measures in the tech industry and the secret to their user high levels of user data security is hidden in the way the data is encrypted in Apple devices. The encryption techniques used by Apple are some of the most sophisticated and are famous for being foolproof. Apple also provides two-factor authentication to ensure that your Apple ID containing your information can only be accessed on devices you want and own.

When you want to add a device to the list of your trusted devices you have to provide your Apple ID password along with a unique code that is sent to your previous trusted devices so that Apple knows it is actually you who is authenticating access to your Apple ID. By making secure hardware apple makes sure that the majority of data is safely stored in your device and only the necessary amount of data is stored in Apple’s data centers. And Apple ensures that the user information it holds about its users is accessed by authorized personnel and for the limited time and purposes only.    

How can you improve your privacy if you use an Apple product?

There are many privacy improvement options built into your Apple device that allow you to ramp up your data privacy if you want to. You can improve your privacy levels with the help of following settings available in Apple devices:

● Limit or Restrict App Access:

Apps you install on your Apple device may have access to data that they don’t need. For example, if you have downloaded a camera app it doesn’t need access to your contacts or location data. So one way to stop apps from accessing unwanted data is by removing their access to certain types of data. You can remove access to a certain type of data by going into settings and then selecting the privacy option here you will find the types of data your device holds such as camera and contact data. Picking any of the options from this list by clicking on it is going to let you know which apps have permission to access the data type you have selected and you can turn off the access if you think the app doesn’t need to function. 

● Limit Ad Tracking:

While Apple doesn’t sell advertisement data to third parties it does collect information such as interests of the Apple device user to show targeted ads to users through certain applications. If you want to you can stop Apple from collecting interest-based data by going into your Apple device’s settings then going into privacy options. If you go all the way down in the privacy menu you will find the “Advertising” option. By clicking on this option you can easily limit ad tracking and your interest data won’t be shared with Apple.  

Apple privacy, and how to improve it 3

● Set a more private search engine for your device:

Even if you use Safari as your main browser your data might still be collected by a data-hungry search engine. But since using a search engine is inevitable you should pick one that collects fewer data and the DuckDuckGo search engine is one such search engine you can set for more private web browsing. Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect irrelevant data when you search for something through it so it is a lot safer compared to Google that is the set as the default search engine in Safari. You can set DuckDuckGo or any other search engine as your default search engine by going into settings clicking on Safari and then choosing DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, or Bing instead of Google.

● Set your device to delete all the data after 10 wrong passcode entries:

Probably the biggest risk to your data privacy is posed by the theft of your device that the data is stored on. But luckily Apple provides its users with a way to make sure their data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands in case of theft. You can set your Apple iOS device to wipe out all the data stored on it automatically if the wrong passcode is entered 10 times in a row. You can enable this function by going into settings and clicking on “Face ID or Passcode” depending on the Apple device you own and in this menu you can find an option called “Erase Data”.

How can you get information removed from Apple?

Apple provides its users the choice to remove all the information that is stored on Apple’s servers about them. And the process is surprisingly simple but you have to delete your Apple ID to remove all the information stored with it. You can remove your information from Apple by signing into Apple’s data privacy portable using your Apple ID and password the can be accessed at privacy.apple.com. Once you are signed into Apple’s privacy portal you can click on continue and then select “Continue” under the “Delete your account” option. Apple will give you some information to read through before you can delete your account permanently and you have to pick a reason for deleting your Apple ID as well you can click continue when you are done with the process.

After that, you have to confirm that you agree with the account deletion terms and conditions and click on continue again. Now you will have to provide a contact method and click continue once again. Next, you will see an access code that you have to write down or save somewhere this code can be used to contact Apple if you want to cancel your account delectation request or find out the status of your account deletion request. Finally, you will have to click on the red button that says “Delete account” to complete the process.

Apple privacy, and how to improve it 5

How can you find out what information Apple has about you?

You can download a copy of your data that is stored by Apple using the same privacy portal you use to delete your Apple ID. All you have to do is sign in to privacy.apple.com using your Apple ID and password and find the “Get a copy of your data” option in the “Manage your data” page. Click the get started button under “Manage your data” and select the type of data you want to download or select all if you want to download all the data Apple has about you. Now select the maximum size for the file you want to receive that is going to contain your data and click on “Complete request”. You will receive an email from Apple containing the data you requested within seven days of completing the request.

Does Apple tell you who they share your information with?

Apple is open about who they share their data with and they also promise that they never sell user information to any third party. Some parties Apple does share user information with include:

● Apple subsidiaries:

Apply shares user information with third-party partners that abide by Apple’s privacy policy and regulations. These partners include parties involved in delivering products and services to customers or customer support.  

● Legal parties:

If the law requires Apple to disclose information about a user then Apple is legally bound to share user data with the government or on the court order.

Apple privacy, and how to improve it 7

Does Apple remove user information from third parties?

The great part about Apple is that it doesn’t share personally identifiable data with third parties outside of its jurisdiction. And since all the partner’s Apple shares user data with abide by Apple’s privacy policy, Apple can remove user information that has been shared with these third party partners as well.