Tim Cook touts new Apple privacy policies in open letter to customers

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 83
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    Imagine if Apple decided to give you an album each day for free of the music that you most detested. Your library would fill up with music you didn't want, unless you deleted the album every day.

     

     

    But that's really an absurd proposition; is that ever even remotely likely to happen? No.

     

    I can't say that I'm a U2 fan (and therefore, I wouldn't have sought out a new U2 album), but the fact that Apple has given one away isn't really a federal crime either (and I would tend to separate this out from the broader privacy question, which is fundamentally quite different in nature).

  • Reply 62 of 83
    ingsoc wrote: »
    Imagine if Apple decided to give you an album each day for free of the music that you most detested. Your library would fill up with music you didn't want, unless you deleted the album every day.

     

    But that's really an absurd proposition; is that ever even remotely likely to happen? No.

    I can't say that I'm a U2 fan (and therefore, I wouldn't have sought out a new U2 album), but the fact that Apple has given one away isn't really a federal crime either (and I would tend to separate this out from the broader privacy question, which is fundamentally quite different in nature).

    It's on a different scale, but it's the same privacy issue. It's one thing to make an album on iTunes free and say 'You're welcome to download it', quite another to have the album appear in your library unasked for. Even The Twelve Days of Christmas was better. There, you may not have liked all the gifts, but at least you weren't obliged to download them; you had the choice to.

    Apple went a step too far with the U2 album. Happily, the backlash makes it pretty likely that they won't do it again. What's more worrying is the fact that it was such a tone-deaf thing to do, which makes one worry just a little for the thinking in Cupertino. Only a very little, though!
  • Reply 63 of 83
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    Nah. It's about a thing called principle.

    No, it's not about principle since they did not invade your privacy. At worst it's junk mail or an unsolicited gift that ended up in your mailbox.

    Perhaps you should look up what privacy means in a dictionary.
  • Reply 64 of 83
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post





    It's on a different scale, but it's the same privacy issue. It's one thing to make an album on iTunes free and say 'You're welcome to download it', quite another to have the album appear in your library unasked for. Even The Twelve Days of Christmas was better. There, you may not have liked all the gifts, but at least you weren't obliged to download them; you had the choice to.



    Apple went a step too far with the U2 album. Happily, the backlash makes it pretty likely that they won't do it again. What's more worrying is the fact that it was such a tone-deaf thing to do, which makes one worry just a little for the thinking in Cupertino. Only a very little, though!

     

    I see what you're saying, but I agree with nht that it's not quite the same as a privacy issue in the context of this thread. This thread is really talking about privacy in the context that your own personal data is being taken by Apple without your permission.

     

    In this case, you're simply being given something. That doesn't involve a violation of your privacy per se; it's just an unsolicited gift that you can delete. Your own personal data hasn't been taken away from you and used.

     

    I suppose that's the angle I'd come from. Also, when it comes to spam, there's much worse than some free music. :-)

  • Reply 65 of 83
    rgh71rgh71 Posts: 125member
    Yeesh.

    I have auto-downloads on and it didn’t auto-download for me.

    Why not for you? Seems like it did for huge numbers of people who clamored so much that Apple devoted a whole site to delete them.

    Yeesh what?
  • Reply 66 of 83
    i am really liking Steve%u2122 Cook.. plus having been the Original Steve's choice, there is no doubt in my mind that Tim is perfect for the job. id prefer a smaller ipodtouch4-like size iphone alt option, but maybe that will come in time. in spite of my admiration, this is a possible read between the lines..

    "I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services."
    - this statement does not dismiss the backdoor claims.

    "We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will."
    - this statement does not dismiss the data-sharing claims.
  • Reply 67 of 83
    PDRPRTScom wrote: »
    "I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services."
    - this statement does not dismiss the backdoor claims.

    Explain, please.
  • Reply 68 of 83
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Explain, please.

     

    hi SolipsismX, well this is all just possibilities.. but strong backdoor claims were made founded on leaks caught by WikiLeaks, and later by Snowden's reports in general. Julian Assange in particular never claimed that Apple had worked with governments to create a backdoor to their systems.. he simply stated that there was one, through the iTunes ecosystem.

  • Reply 69 of 83
    PDRPRTScom wrote: »
    hi SolipsismX, well this is all just possibilities.. but strong backdoor claims were made founded on leaks caught by WikiLeaks, and later by Snowden's reports in general. Julian Assange in particular never claimed that Apple had worked with governments to create a backdoor to their systems.. he simply stated that there was one, through the iTunes ecosystem.

    Then I agree with Cook's words. Apple hasn't created a backdoor but it's certainly possible for anyone to find one. I also don't think Apple is not closing security breaches when they figure theme out.
  • Reply 70 of 83
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Then I agree with Cook's words. Apple hasn't created a backdoor but it's certainly possible for anyone to find one. I also don't think Apple is not closing security breaches when they figure theme out.



    i hope u r right!

  • Reply 71 of 83

    People really need to take off their tin foil hats.  If you watch Tim's interview with Charlie Rose, you will see that he is VERY sincere in what he says.  You can choose not to believe him, but I then ask, who do you believe?  And if you don't believe any of them, then that is certainly a sad way to live.  I feel sorry for those people that are just so cynical that they think everyone is either lying to them, or intentionally misleading everyone.  I just don't believe that Tim is doing this at all.

     

    Also, there is no way, with 98,000 employees, that someone would not have outed Tim on these claims if they weren't true.  It would have happened already.

     

    Is there a possibility that someone can hack into Apple's systems?  Of course.  They are connected to the internet, and I am willing to bet that if you could look at their firewall security logs, you would see literally thousands of attempts every day.  All they can do is their best to stop the idiotic hackers from getting in.  And yes, I said idiotic, because if that's all you do is try to hack into someone's systems, you need to get a life.

  • Reply 72 of 83
    Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

    Why not for you?

     

    *shrug*

     

    Seems like it did for huge numbers of people who clamored so much that Apple devoted a whole site to delete them.


     

    I think most of the whining in that regard was due to it simply showing up. And honestly, it was, what, 100 megabytes? Big deal. Just delete it.

     

     Yeesh what?


     

    Oh, just for the stereotype.

  • Reply 73 of 83
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member

    http://www.apple.com/privacy/manage-your-privacy/

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple 

    It’s important to note that Frequent Locations remain on your device and are not sent to Apple, or even backed up in iTunes or iCloud. The one exception is if you opt in to improve Maps for yourself and other users, in which case we will occasionally collect your Frequent Locations but only retain this data in a purely anonymous form.

     

    How does a list of locations you've been help make Maps better? Is it so they know how much weight to give to your suggested corrections?

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple 

    When Limit Ad Tracking is turned on, third-party apps are forbidden by Apple’s guidelines to use the Advertising Identifier to serve you targeted ads.


     

    That's good but could they also make the Advertising Identifer API return 0 when the user flicks this switch? If the app retrieved the identifier earlier and stored it then this will make no difference, which is why the guideline is needed, but if it's a newly installed app then stopping it from ever getting an identifier in the first place is surely a stronger protection?

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple 

    If you would like to help improve our products and services, you can opt in to our Diagnostic & Usage program and send nonidentifiable information about your device and applications. Your explicit consent is required to do this, and you can view the data on your device or stop sending data at any time.


     

    This is not actually true. I did a fresh install of Mavericks a few hours ago, and in the OS setup wizard (where you create your new account) the "Send Diagnostics and Usage Data to Apple" checkbox is on by default.

     

    http://www.apple.com/privacy/privacy-built-in/

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple 

    While we do back up iMessage and SMS messages for your convenience using iCloud Backup, you can turn it off whenever you want.


     

    You can turn it off whenever you want, but what happens to the messages already stored there? Are they deleted from the server? And even if they are, I'm sure like every data centre Apple has multiple generations of backups, some of them offline. I doubt the system removes the messages from those. They should make it clear that "turn it off whenever you want" will only stop future messages from being stored and older ones remain.

     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple 

    Apple retains the encryption keys in our own data centers, so you can back up, sync, and share your iCloud data.


     

    It sounds like they are arguing that sync can't be done unless your data can be decrypted on the server side. But doesn't this depend on how the particular app organizes it's data? 

     

    For example if Contacts stored one contact record per file, then the server could just see which files had changed on one device and push those to all your other devices without having to know their contents. i.e. sync could be done without having to decrypt the contact info, purely by using file metadata.

     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple 

    The longer you use Siri and Dictation, the better they understand you and the better they work. To help them recognize your pronunciation and provide better responses, certain User Data such as your name, contacts, and songs in your music library is sent to Apple servers using encrypted protocols.


     

    This would not be necessary if the voice recognition was client-side and only the text query was sent to Apple.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple 

    You can always opt out of Suggestions and continue to use Spotlight solely for local search on your device.


     

    I think people might assume it's a local computer search, because it's in your computer menu bar, not in a web browser. Most people don't distinguish between The Internet and their Web Browser. Instead of opting you in to Internet search results by default they should ask you first time you use Spotlight on iOS 8 or Yosemite if that's what you want.

     

    And one thing they didn't mention on their privacy page is iTunes. The first time you launch iTunes after a fresh install, the very first thing it asks you is, "Do you want to share details of your library with Apple?" and there's a big blue Yes button and the No button is grey. Also by default "Automatically retrieve track names from the Internet is highlighted," meaning any time you put a new CD in your computer, what CD that is beamed out on the Internet, that's not very private. And finally, in iTunes preferences, Store tab, there is a checkbox "limit ad tracking" but by default it is not selected. So not only have they implemented tracking of customers in iTunes, they have opted you in to it by default.









     


  • Reply 74 of 83
    Enough about the U2 album already! It was a gift, accept it graciously. If you don't like it, just remove it from your phone and/or Mac. Why are people complaining about this?

    Holy smokes.....Couldn't have said it better myself. Can't believe the reactions some have had.
  • Reply 75 of 83
    leeroy wrote: »
    Really? Is it that bad to have some songs you don't like in your iTunes account? I do understand some people didn't want it in their accounts, so just delete it if so. I really don't understand the massive negative reaction. I personally think it's rude and self righteous. It's like if grandma gave you a butt ugly shirt, they paid 100m to U2 so they could gift this album to their users... and they get slapped in the face.

    The reason it wasn't just offered just as a free item to purchase is that Apple treated it as a 'Gift', they thought it would be a surprise for people to wake up and find it in their stockings ready to go. I guess Apple's mistake was misjudging U2's appeal. I doubt they will give another album for free, at least not in this way.

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">I'm not a fan of U2 in any regard, but I wasn't offended by receiving the album. I appreciated it and even listened to it a couple of times to see if it would grow on me. </span>


    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">In regard to the negativity towards Apple in general these days, I think it's unwarranted. People still don't seem to 'get' Apple.  Yes they can make mistakes or bad judgements, but so does everyone, the difference is Apple is genuinely good intentioned. They're out to make the best quality products and experiences bar none. People don't seem to realise the passion and drive behind this. </span>


    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">I think today's generation are spoilt and </span>
    narcissistic. T<span style="line-height:1.4em;">he advancements and marvels of technology are now demanded rather than revered, and quality not noticed appreciated.</span>


    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">I find that a shame.</span>

    This has got to be one of the most refreshing comments I've read in a long, long time. Grounded and accurate to the tee. Thanks for speaking up.
  • Reply 76 of 83
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnpierre View Post





    This has got to be one of the most refreshing comments I've read in a long, long time. Grounded and accurate to the tee. Thanks for speaking up.

     

    I agree. It's almost too easy to become cynical these days; I think we've all had it so good for so long (when it comes to the tech/gadgets world) that we sometimes forget to maintain perspective. :-)

  • Reply 77 of 83
    ingsoc wrote: »
    I agree. It's almost too easy to become cynical these days; I think we've all had it so good for so long (when it comes to the tech/gadgets world) that we sometimes forget to maintain perspective. :-)

    Exactly.
  • Reply 78 of 83
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,286member
    Another privacy concern raised. DON'T USE IN-APP BROWSERS in iOS apps. Apparently they all can collect everything you type including personal information like usernames and passwords. Worse there's no realistic way for Apple to prevent it as it now stands.
    http://furbo.org/2014/09/24/in-app-browsers-considered-harmful/

    EDIT: Plain English explanation here
    http://tinyurl.com/l6uyhon
  • Reply 79 of 83
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,359moderator
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Another privacy concern raised. DON'T USE IN-APP BROWSERS in iOS apps. Apparently they all can collect everything you type including personal information like usernames and passwords. Worse there's no realistic way for Apple to prevent it as it now stands.
    http://furbo.org/2014/09/24/in-app-browsers-considered-harmful/

    EDIT: Plain English explanation here
    http://tinyurl.com/l6uyhon

    Like Chrome for iOS you mean?
  • Reply 80 of 83
    Marvin wrote: »
    Like Chrome for iOS you mean?

    Any app could potentially be recording what you do within the app. I don't think he's excluding Google from that list.
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