The updated site is intended to list virtually every core use of data by services like Apple Pay and iCloud, and to explain how it works with governments when it receives requests for digital information about users.
“Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay,” Apple CEO Tim Cook writes in the site’s introductory post, originally published in 2014.
“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.”
The updates to the site focus on several core and revamped features in iOS 9 including Maps, Apple News and how apps are able to ‘deep link’ to other core services. A ‘Manage Your Privacy’ section details how to adjust your exposure to data sharing and any potential scams, and there is also a section dedicated to explaining how Apple works with governments, though that remains largely unchanged from a previous update in 2014. Apple does not one surprising stat, however: 94 percent of government data requests it receives are police officers attempting to find stolen iPhones.
It reads: “To make the most of the extensive security features built into iOS, 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.”
On Maps, Apple says that it internally anonymises users and recognises them based on a numerical identifier which resets over time.
“Other companies try to build a profile about you using a complete history of everywhere you’ve been, usually because they’re targeting you for advertisers. Since our business doesn’t depend on advertising, we have no interest in doing this,” Apple says on the site. “And we couldn’t even if we wanted to.”
“You don’t have to sign in to use Maps, and it only knows you by a random identifier that resets itself frequently as you use the app. Maps is also engineered to separate the data about your trips… into segments, to keep Apple or anyone else from putting together a complete picture of your travels.”
Here is how Apple explains privacy options on its other core products:
“Apple does not know what devices you’re controlling, or how and when you’re using them. Siri only associates your HomeKit devices with your anonymous Siri identifier, not you personally. Apps supported by HomeKit are restricted by our developer guidelines to using data solely for home configuration or automation services. Data related to your home is stored encrypted in the keychain of your device.”
Spotlight OS X searches:
“Unlike our competitors, we don’t use a persistent personal identifier to tie your searches to you in order to build a profile based on your search history. We also place restrictions on our partners so they don’t create a long-term trail of identifiable searches by you or from your device.”
“While News is ad supported — ads are served based on the articles you read — this information cannot be used to target ads to you outside the News app. We never provide publishers with information to track you. And you can turn on Limit Ad Tracking to stop receiving targeted ads.”
“The songs you stream aren’t used by any other service to advertise to you. And if you don’t want to keep your music collection on our servers, you can opt out of iCloud Music Library.”
“We also refuse to add a backdoor into any of our products because that undermines the protections we’ve built in. And we can’t unlock your device for anyone because you hold the key — your unique password. We’re committed to using powerful encryption because you should know the data on your device and the information you share with others is protected.”