Tim Cook is a pretty straightforward guy. Dresses like your uncle. Avoids the flash of his predecessor. And he has a few key things he repeats, mantra-like, in that distinctive Alabama drawl. Things like – privacy is a human right. And, you are not our product. Of course, we can argue about the extent to which that’s true, and about just how much the average smartphone consumer really stops and ponders privacy considerations before they spring for a new handset. Nevertheless, Apple today is taking its steadfast message about how we’re the ones you can genuinely trust with your data to the next level.
The company has added new tools to its Privacy page which include, starting today, the ability of consumers to download all the data from Apple that it has about them. (Head here and sign in with your Apple ID to get started, if you want to try it.) The tools also include an easy way to delete your account, if you want — which certainly calls to mind the Byzantine process of trying to do the same with your Facebook account.
“So much of your personal information — information you have a right to keep private — lives on your Apple devices,” the company explains on its updated privacy portal. “Your heart rate after a run. Which news stories you read first. Where you bought your last coffee. What websites you visit. Who you call, email, or message. Every Apple product is designed from the ground up to protect that information. And to empower you to choose what you share and with whom.”
The revamped site also goes on to talk up Apple’s practices around data-retention and gives users the option to opt out of targeted ads from Apple.
This all follows Apple’s introduction earlier this year of an icon you see when Apple collects data from any software. Tap the icon, and Apple gives you a list of the data it gathers from that application, with even more information available at its now-updated privacy page.
The iPhone’s Safari browser, Business Insider goes on to note, also now includes an iOS 12 workflow for creating a unique, secure password and saving it across Apple devices for new accounts. Presumably weaning people off of the ease of using something like a Facebook log-in.
“Part of the (updated privacy) website focuses on Apple’s privacy features and the ways it limits the data it collects,” BI continues. “The other part focuses on how a user can limit the data that’s collected about him or her, including a new portal for downloading your personal data and deleting your Apple account.
“‘We believe privacy is a human right,’ it starts, echoing language that Cook has made in public speeches. The Apple CEO will give a speech at a European privacy conference next week, where he will likely use that phrasing or something similar again.”