Apple updates privacy minisite, says iOS 9 News personalization delinked from Apple ID

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
Apple on Tuesday updated its privacy minisite, spelling out things like its policy on encryption and changes related to iOS 9, such as the way it targets stories and advertising in its News app.




"We knew coming in that building a personalized news product could be very sensitive -- and the first thing we thought about was we really don't want to associate news with your personal Apple account," Apple's senior director of global privacy, Jane Horvath, told the Washington Post.

The updated privacy site explains that while News collects data on reading habits, these are linked to a special identifier found only in that app, instead of a person's Apple ID. Users can also choose to reset their News history.

Elsewhere, new wording about encryption emphasizes the importance of the technology in protecting things like financial transactions. It also reiterates Apple's claim that it can't unlock iOS 8 or 9 for other parties, a point that has generated anger from some in government. People such as FBI director James Comey have claimed that such intense levels of encryption interfere with law enforcement, and argued for the creation of backdoors, despite concerns those same holes could be used by hackers and other malicious groups.

Much of the site attempts to distinguish Apple's approach from the likes of Google and Facebook. The latter two companies make most of their money from advertising, and regularly track users across the Internet for that purpose. Because Apple relies on hardware sales, the company has been able to limit and anonymize tracking in many cases.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20

    Great timing Apple. Just when Google is going to have their Nexus/Android keynote this morning, remind everyone about data collection and privacy. :)

  • Reply 2 of 20
    I'd be more impressed by Apple and others if they built public-key encryption into their email programs. It should be well enough done that a simple exchange of emails means that the keys are exchanged and used automatically from that point on. The feature should have been included years ago.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Isn't it a strange world where the biggest threat to personal security and privacy is your own government? I think we need a redefinition of that threatening word beginning with T.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    "Elsewhere, new wording about encryption emphasizes the **impotance** of the technology in protecting things like financial transactions."

    I assume that should read "impoRtance"? Unless you meant that they're using really crappy encryption.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    ireland wrote: »
    Isn't it a strange world where the biggest threat to personal security and privacy is your own government? I think we need a redefinition of that threatening word beginning with T.

    I'd disagree to be honest. I'd say the biggest threat to personal security and privacy is user stupidity. Most damage is done by folks being fooled by phishing, including it turns out many of the high profile industrial hacks carried out according to recent news stories on the subject. We all know that was how Apple's iCloud was 'hacked', it was nothing of the sort, stupid users gave out their own user IDs and passwords.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    bcode wrote: »
    "Elsewhere, new wording about encryption emphasizes the **impotance** of the technology in protecting things like financial transactions."

    I assume that should read "impoRtance"? Unless you meant that they're using really crappy encryption.

    Got to love auto correct.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    I'd disagree to be honest. I'd say the biggest threat to personal security and privacy is user stupidity. Most damage is done by folks being fooled by phishing, including it turns out many of the high profile industrial hacks carried out according to recent news stories on the subject. We all know that was how Apple's iCloud was 'hacked', it was nothing of the sort, stupid users gave out their own user IDs and passwords.

    Current laws allows unmitigated spying on and data collection of American citizens, plus the killing of Americans overseas without trial. These are very, very dangerous precedents.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    Current laws allows unmitigated spying on and data collection of American citizens, plus the killing of Americans overseas without trial. These are very, very dangerous precedents.
    Ars also has a related article discussing overseas US surveillance and the EU's response.
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/09/us-desperately-defends-safe-harbour-scheme-says-it-never-uses-indiscriminate-surveillance-on-eu/
  • Reply 9 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    Current laws allows unmitigated spying on and data collection of American citizens, plus the killing of Americans overseas without trial. These are very, very dangerous precedents.

    For the average Joe I stand by my phishing comment, but to the issue you raise, it is really a philosophical question in the end. I am willing to forgo my privacy if it makes me safer.

    It's a sign of the times sadly and I totally believe is apolitical in the USA at this time. Whoever was in power in the US would be instigating some very hard to swallow tactics for a democratic society. I do realize though that if an extremist government were ever to take over here, such as in Germany had in the 1930's, and inherited such an invasive system it would be a disaster. There is no answer that really works.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    For the average Joe I stand by my phishing comment, but to the issue you raise, it is really a philosophical question in the end. I am willing to forgo my privacy if it makes me safer.

    It's a sign of the times sadly and I totally believe is apolitical in the USA at this time. Whoever was in power in the US would be instigating some very hard to swallow tactics for a democratic society. I do realize though that if an extremist government were ever to take over here, such as in Germany had in the 1930's, and inherited such an invasive system it would be a disaster. There is no answer that really works.

    Total safety can never be promised in exchange for your rights.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,466member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Current laws allows unmitigated spying on and data collection of American citizens, plus the killing of Americans overseas without trial. These are very, very dangerous precedents.



    And there’s not a damned thing you can do about it except whine here. How’s that make you feel? Despondent? Just saying.

  • Reply 12 of 20
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    I'd be more impressed by Apple and others if they built public-key encryption into their email programs. It should be well enough done that a simple exchange of emails means that the keys are exchanged and used automatically from that point on. The feature should have been included years ago.

     

    Like S/MIME (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/MIME) support?  Which Apple Mail (and most other popular mail clients) has supported for many years?  (https://www.justinrummel.com/using-smime-with-apple-mail/)  The issue is most people are unaware that it's there and do not know how to get and distribute certificates.  PKI is hard for many geeks to understand, not to mention the average lay person. 

  • Reply 13 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    Total safety can never be promised in exchange for your rights.

    Somewhere in there there has to be a middle ground. An improvement in safety for some of my rights. Everything isn't always all or nothing.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,466member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Total safety can never be promised in exchange for your rights.



    All of these quotes by dead patriots and no action, just complaining. 

  • Reply 15 of 20
    lkrupp wrote: »

    And there’s not a damned thing you can do about it except whine here. How’s that make you feel? Despondent? Just saying.

    Are you kidding? It's the actions of our government that caused the rise of tea party groups in response to the bailouts after the financial collapse. Tea party groups in turn influenced the election of politicians who are to this day throwing monkey wrenches into the system in Washington. (At this point I hasten to add that I'm not affiliated with any Tea Party groups, although I do support any and all efforts to restrain unconstitutional and unchecked government.)

    Another: Ed Snowden. Him taking action due to his disgust with the existing system has been a bigger influencer of US policy and power than the efforts of thousands of people over decades.

    Every action has an effect, big and small.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    lkrupp wrote: »

    All of these quotes by dead patriots and no action, just complaining. 

    That wasn't a quote, although it is somewhat similar to "give me liberty, or give me death."

    Are you an American? If you are, you're giving a piss-poor example.
  • Reply 17 of 20

    Is there a way to 'dislike' a news story in this app so that you'd see less like them?

  • Reply 18 of 20
    Hoping next iOS 9 update fixes the texting issue. Frequently I get a grey bar in the text field and have to close and reopen messaging app to fix it. Annoying!
  • Reply 19 of 20
    dcgoodcgoo Posts: 247member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    I'd be more impressed by Apple and others if they built public-key encryption into their email programs. It should be well enough done that a simple exchange of emails means that the keys are exchanged and used automatically from that point on. The feature should have been included years ago.



    Actually encryption has been part of Apple Mail.app for many years.  At least since Snow Leopard I think.  It is also available in iOS, although a little trickier to install on your iDevice, because you have to load a custom profile.  But it is supported. All you need is a set of keys. Many are free if you don't mind annual renewals. 

  • Reply 20 of 20
    You can protect your privacy for less than $5 with applications such as ContactShield which encrypts your address book, and 1KeyPro/1password which encrypt your password. Enjoy!
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