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Apple's new privacy policy website explains how your data is being used

By Gabe Carey
Sep 30, 2015
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  1. If you're an iOS user curious about how your data is being used when relying on services like Apple Pay or iCloud, Apple has launched a website dedicated to detailing its privacy policy initiatives.

    The newly launched site follows an open letter written by Apple CEO Tim Cook which consists, among other things, of indirect jabs at Google and reminders that the company has never worked with governments to allow backdoor access to their products and services.

    The privacy policy site features in-depth explanations as to how your data is used with individual Apple apps and services as well as advice on how to make your devices even more secure. There are also links accompanying several of the app-specific excerpts to more thorough information about the data they collect.

    "Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay," proclaimed Cook in his open letter. "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."

    While the updates mostly focus on features added or amended in iOS 9, such as Maps and Apple News, the site also addresses how supported apps are interconnected using "deep linking," which enables users to automatically open links in a corresponding application. Another section of the site, "Manage Your Privacy," advises users on how to limit vulnerabilities to data sharing and phishing scams.

    The part that explains Apple's relationship with governments is predominantly identical to its position last year. Perhaps the most shocking piece of data is that 94 percent of the requests Apple gets from law enforcement are actually from agencies trying to locate stolen devices for their customers. It's only the remaining 6 percent in which officials seek personal information.

    Considering it is a privacy policy, the devil is -- as expected -- in the details. Following the release of iOS 9, Apple published 60 pages of documentation on mobile security. For someone with a lot of time on their hands, it could honestly be an interesting read. It covers emerging details on how Apple encrypts its software as well as new functionality in the most recent update to its mobile OS. As Wired points out, there's also an interesting tidbit for businesses who choose to adopt Apple hardware within productivity environments.

    "To make the most of the extensive security features built into iOS," it reads. "Businesses are encouraged to review their IT and security policies to ensure that they are taking full advantage of the layers of security technology offered by this platform." Long story short, it's up to businesses, not Apple, to ensure that their devices are secure. Of course, this isn't exactly heartbreaking considering Apple provides all the resources needed to be secure. You can read more about Apple's refined approach to privacy here.

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