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  • Apple Updates Customer Privacy Webpage with Info on its New Security Initiatives


    Apple’s customer privacy webpage was recently updated to reflect its new security initiatives, highlighting a letter written by CEO Tim Cook. The letter restated the company’s business is in selling products and not harvesting data, mentioning that consumer privacy is important for the Cupertino California company. Cook wrote the following regarding the matter:

    Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay.
    As many of you probably already know, Apple’s security methods have been scrutinized after several nude photos supposedly harvested from multiple celebrity iCloud accounts leaked online. Apple denied rumors of an iCloud breach and attributed the photo to a “very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet.” As a result of this whole situation, Apple rolled out more aggressive iCloud security measures, including two-factor authentication for iCloud.com and app-specific passwords.

    Cook continued by taking the opportunity to tear in to Google’s business model, which is based on revenue earned from targeted ads. The iAd network is built on the same fundamental privacy tenets employed in other products and doesn’t cultivate data from services like Maps, Siri and the new HealthKit framework found in iOS 8. Cook mentioned the following regarding the matter in his letter:

    Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don't build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don't 'monetize' the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don't read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.
    Apple’s privacy policy and stance on privacy were highlighted with Cook stating the need for greater transparency in reporting government data requests. Apple previously announced that it would routinely issue data request reports to keep the public apprised of US national security order and account information requests from various state agencies. As far as the updated privacy policies, Apple says changes “were made predominantly to cover new features in iOS 8 or to provide additional information on current use of data.”

    Those of you interested in reading the full letter can do so below:

    At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That's why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled. Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.

    We believe in telling you up front exactly what's going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us. And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it's to provide you with a better user experience.

    We're publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don't collect, and why. We're going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.

    A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you're not the customer. You're the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn't come at the expense of your privacy.

    Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don't build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don't "monetize" the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don't read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

    One very small part of our business does serve advertisers, and that's iAd. We built an advertising network because some app developers depend on that business model, and we want to support them as well as a free iTunes Radio service. iAd sticks to the same privacy policy that applies to every other Apple product. It doesn't get data from Health and HomeKit, Maps, Siri, iMessage, your call history, or any iCloud service like Contacts or Mail, and you can always just opt out altogether.

    Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.

    Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn't come easy. That's why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.

    Tim
    Source: Apple (Legal)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Updates Customer Privacy Webpage with Info on its New Security Initiatives started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. ProfessorJack's Avatar
      ProfessorJack -
      iv been using Apple's two stage authentication for over a year now

      so why don't you setup a poll Mr Masand to see how many on this site use it

      how about that
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      I’ve never held anything against Android as an OS. In the past couple of years it has become a pretty decent OS that, when matched with good hardware, is a great product that would suit my needs just as well as Apple.

      Having said that, this article highlights exactly why I will stick with Apple. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t like the idea for being “milked” for my information just to get a product that may be a little cheaper and services that will only marginally improve my day to day life. I value my information, my identity, much more than that. Furthermore, I just think it’s generally a bad idea to hand over so much of your information to a single corporation. Android users like to call Apple users sheep, which is ironic given that they are more akin to farm animals, and Google is the farmer.

      People have given Apple a lot of flak over the Jennifer Lawrence issue, and it may be true that steps could have been taken to deactivate access to her account *if* a bunch of attempts were made, but when the real issue comes down to a simply weak password, I don’t heap very much blame on Apple.

      I like the feeling that my information is more private and not used by Apple. And I love the moves they’re making moves to keep all my sensitive information on my device and not in the cloud. That way, it’s in my control, not theirs. And my responsibility.