Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Apple says it now tracks and scores your calls and email habits to prevent fraud

Updated Sep 20th, 2018 9:52AM EDT
iTunes Device Trust Score
Image: Apple

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Apple has been advocating for unbreakable encryption and total user privacy for years, even if that put it at odds with governments around the world. That’s not just because it gave it an edge on the competition, forcing rivals to also somewhat embrace encryption and better privacy features, but also because Apple seems to genuinely believe that user data and privacy should be defended at all costs. 

Apple just created added a new provision to the iTunes Store & Privacy policy that tells users that their devices will receive individual scores based on the number of phone calls they make and the emails they send:

To help identify and prevent fraud, information about how you use your device, including the approximate number of phone calls or emails you send and receive, will be used to compute a device trust score when you attempt a purchase. The submissions are designed so Apple cannot learn the real values on your device. The scores are stored for a fixed time on our servers.

How does knowing how many calls I make or emails I send help Apple combat fraud? A trust score could help to determine whether the purchase a user was attempting to make was deemed as an authentic purchase versus a fraudulent one. The data that gets sent to Apple, according to the company, is a numeric score that is computed on the device itself. It uses “the company’s standard privacy abstracting techniques, and retained only for a limited period, without any way to work backward from the score to user behavior. No calls, emails, or other abstractions of that data are shared with Apple.” Also, as VentureBeat points out, this new privacy policy applies to Apple TV too.

This article was updated with new information on Apple’s new iTunes Store & Privacy Policy.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.