Is Apple selling your personal information? Everything You Should Know about Apple Privacy

Last Updated on Jun 16, 2022

Tech giant Apple, like every other firm, collects data from the user devices and the services. Apple’s privacy policy explains what information the company collects. If you go to Apple’s website and read the company’s privacy policy, you’ll see what kind of data the Cupertino behemoth collects and processes. Unlike Facebook and Google, Apple might be seen as a moral high horse when using personal identifiers. It’s not that Apple collects fewer data; it chooses to use it differently.

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What Happens to Your Information When Apple Collects It?

Now, let’s learn how Apple uses your data to help you better understand Apple marketing. First, it collects personal data about you and uses it to show advertisements, as mentioned in the previous paragraph. On the other hand, Apple only shows adverts on the App Store, the News app, and the Stocks app. In addition, the firm policy specifies that adverts target groups of persons with similar interests.

 If you read fashion stories on the Apple News app, Apple categorizes you as someone interested in fashion. So you’ll start seeing more fashion-related adverts in the app once that happens. Apple is displaying relevant adverts because of this, but they aren’t specifically aimed at you.

As per a new report, several iOS apps give out the location data to the data brokers despite having to follow the Apple’s privacy regulations and the guideline restrictions. While Apple and Google have clamped down on one devious strategy used by corporations that acquire and sell user data, a simple solution is widely employed.

Companies that get the location data from the users stand at a worth of $12 billion. In addition, commerce is completely lawful in the United States.

Apple and Google stand as the de facto regulators to keep user information private. It is all thanks to the changes in the rules of transparency rules and the crackdowns on specific data brokers. In the absence of any legislation that restricts the trade of location dat.

The app stores have targeted data brokers who offer software development kits (SDKs) to app developers, such as X-Mode (formerly known as Out logic), which has been accused of selling data to military contractors. App developers frequently utilize SDKs to add functionality to their apps without building them from the ground up. Still, these SDKs were created to communicate app uses location data for brokers.

However, experts and workers in the location data sector say that the steps are insufficient; there are other gaps in Apple’s and Google’s regulations that allow location data to be acquired even if those SDKs are not used.

The Trade of Location Data 

1. Numerous apps include a software development kit (SDK) hidden in the code. Some SDKs are owned by location data brokers who provide free or low-cost functionality in exchange for being included in an app.

2. Some SDKs provide data straight to third-party data brokers, who can sell or analyze the information.

3. Apple and Google have tightened down on data brokers like X-Mode, and can now scan software bundles for SDKs.

4. Data brokers are now using a different way. The app developer can offer out the user data directly to the users through the “server-to-server” transfers. It is if the people have any arrangement with a specified location data broker.

5. This practice appears to take place outside of app stores’ perspective and is growing more frequently in the industry.

What Types of Location Data Sales Does Apple Allow in Its App Stores?

Companies selling location data are subject to Apple’s policies. However, it’s unclear whether or how the tech powerhouses will enforce those restrictions.

According to Apple’s policy, apps must declare what data they gather and how it will be used and obtain users’ agreement before sharing their information. However, it does not mandate that applications declare to whom they sell data; many states that they exchange data with partners.

Regarding location data, Apple’s policy states that once a user grants rights, they are subject to the privacy policies and practices of the apps, which may include selling their data.

What Can Apple Do to End the Sale of Location Data?

According to the researchers, Apple might make some efforts to better inform users about what happens to their data, but government intervention would be required to put a genuine stop to data sales.

Apple should enact regulations against location data brokers by requiring apps to identify to whom they sell user data to be accepted into their app stores. However, such a policy would be strongly reliant on the honor code.

Although there is no federal data privacy law in the United States, some states, such as California, have restrictions. California’s privacy law, on the other hand, only requires corporations to reveal the kind of third parties who obtain data, not the data brokers themselves.

Apple’s new commercial reintroduces the topic of privacy, and here’s why it’s so crucial.

When compared to Android, Apple has always prioritized privacy. However, the company has released a commercial addressing privacy concerns. The advertisement gives out all the data that the phone collects. It includes the emails, any images, contact numbers, recent purchases, the location data, SMS message contents, and so on. Stopping apps from following you and securing your emails are the only ways to stop this from happening – features that an iPhone can provide.

The ad’s main point is to demonstrate how well Apple and the iPhone can safeguard your privacy compared to other operating systems, such as Android. And the company has selected a simple method of demonstrating how far this infiltration may go and how it must be stopped.

The previous few ads have focused on the Apple Watch and the iPhone 13 Pro’s incredible camera. This ad, in contrast, emphasizes the commitment of Apple to protect user privacy through OS features.  

  • The advertisement depicts Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature, which debuted with iOS 14.5 and was enhanced in iOS 15. Before developers can track users across apps and websites, they must first give their permission. Apple’s ATT feature would cost them more than $10 billion, according to Meta (Facebook) earlier this year. 
  • The Mail app also offers a Mail Privacy feature that limits the amount of data users can collect when seeing advertising emails and newsletters. This feature allows users to mask their IP address so that it cannot be associated with other online actions or used to monitor their location.
  • Apple’s iCloud Plus service also includes several privacy features, such as Private Relay, which protects browsing data.

Apple’s ads have always had a core message’ that resonates with customers. Apple has known what technology features irritate customers since Steve Jobs, and the advertising reflects this through a “simple” message.

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