Apple talks big about privacy, but it doesn’t apply to Apple’s Apps

Apple talks big about privacy, stating it is the only smartphone maker that can be trusted with your personal data. Independent researchers have found that Apple’s own Apps collect highly detailed information even when you turn off tracking.

As reported in Gizmodo, this is contrary to Apple’s public policy about how its privacy protection works. Massive class action lawsuits are already in the making, and the European Union (famous for smacking down Apple) is beginning its investigations that could cost Apple millions, if not billions, of Euros.

Gizmodo reported that this issue was identified by two independent researchers at the software company Mysk. They found that the Apple App Store sends exhaustive information about nearly everything a user does in the app, despite a privacy setting, iPhone Analytics, which claims to ‘disable the sharing of Device Analytics altogether” when switched off. Gizmodo asked the researchers to run additional tests on other iPhone apps, including Apple Music, Apple TV, Books, and Stocks. The researchers found that the problem persists across most of Apple’s built-in iPhone apps.

‘Privacy – That is iPhone’ blown out of the water

The class action lawsuit accuses Apple of violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act. ‘Privacy is one of the main issues that Apple uses to set its products apart from competitors,’ the plaintiff, Elliot Libman, said in the suit, which can be read on Bloomberg Law.

Apple’s privacy guarantees are completely illusory. The company has plastered billboards across the country with the slogan ‘Privacy. That’s iPhone’.

What data does Apple gather?

Despite disabling tracking for third-party Apps, it identifies you and your device, ID numbers, phone model, screen resolution, keyboard languages, internet connection, and browser history — the kind of information commonly used for device fingerprinting. This at least applies to the Apple App store, Apple Music, Apple TV, Books and Stocks.

Privacy is the single greatest issue facing humanity

Privacy is the single greatest issue facing western humanity. We must not let COVID or environmental issues cloud this. We must not drop the ball because unless we act now, the world as we know it will soon be gone. Strong words, but we need stronger actions.

For too long big tech has collected massive amounts of data and monetised it. Then Medibank, Optus and hundreds more have had your personal data stolen – Spy boss says get a second clean phone – Craptus and Mediscare.

The problem is the collection of our data in the first place. We are long overdue for legislation that a) enables a unique transactional digital token (backed by biometrics or MFA) to verify who we are for online transactions (un-hackable) and b) legislate to delete the tonnes of data already collected.

Get the conversation going – Privacy is the single greatest issue facing humanity

Vow to

  • Read privacy conditions on all apps and be more discerning about the permissions they require.
  • Stop oversharing on social media. Ditch it if possible.
  • Stop giving away your data to any ‘so-called’ loyalty card or frequent users.
  • Never put anything online that can come back to bite you.
  • Never confirm personal information online, on the phone, via email or SMS.
  • Learn how to secure Windows, Android, iOS, Mac and more to enhance privacy.
  • Get the conversations going by spreading the word to family and friends about taking care online.