Date
13 November 2018
Apple is making it easier for users to find out and control the personal information that the company collects on them. Photo: Reuters
Apple is making it easier for users to find out and control the personal information that the company collects on them. Photo: Reuters

Apple gives US users tool to see what data it has collected

Apple on Wednesday rolled out an online tool to users in the United States and several other countries to download, change or delete all the data that the iPhone maker has collected on them, Reuters reports.

Apple updated its privacy website with the tool, which was unveiled earlier this year for users in the European Union in response to the region’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.

Apple will now let users in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand see and download all information that Apple has collected on them.

It also gives users a simpler way to make changes to the data, suspend their Apple account or even permanently delete it, according to the report.

Apple previously offered those functions in different places but brought them together for Europe’s data privacy law. It plans to roll out the same tool for all users around the world by the end of the year.

Apple devices such as the iPhone or Apple Watch collect detailed data about users, such as whom they email, call or text message and even biometric data such as heart rates and fingerprints.

But Apple’s practice has been to keep much of that data on the devices themselves and encrypt it with the user’s pass code, meaning that Apple does not possess the data and cannot unscramble it if asked to do so by law enforcement officials.

Despite its focus on keeping data on devices, Apple does collect and store some data about its users.

With the updates to its privacy website Wednesday it is seeking to better explain those instances. For example, Apple collects data on users’ reading habits to improve suggestions in its Apple News app, but it says that data is linked to an anonymous identifier, rather than a personal profile, and that it is not connected to its other services and can be reset at any time.

Apple also expanded its guide for users on how to adjust their privacy settings. For example, Apple’s default settings allow some advertising tracking in is App Store and Apple News, but it explains how users can limit that tracking, the report said.

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RC

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