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The Resource Center | article

What You Need to Know About Apple’s Privacy Policy

Here, we discuss what you need to know about Apple's massive privacy policy.

In this series, we’re talking about privacy policies and what you should know about them. We’ve already discussed music streaming service Spotify, so now we move onto Apple, whose policies arguably have the biggest impact.

That’s because it seems like everyone has at least one Apple device these days. While the company continues to expand its product line and services, its popularity, and thus its collection of data, has grown rapidly. In other words, Apple knows a lot about us.

Apple’s recent privacy policy updates

After the introduction of Apple Pay and other additional features included in the most recent iOS update, the tech giant made important updates to its privacy policy, originally pub in 2014. It became important for Apple to discuss how and why it was collecting and using data. So it did, in great depth with a 60-page document.

“Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay,” Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, wrote in the policy’s opening paragraphs.

The remainder of the document covers each of Apple’s services, such as HomeKit, Maps, Siri, Spotlight OS X searches, Apple Music and Apple News. In each of these extensive sections, according to Wired, Apple reassures users that any data collected by apps and products is encrypted and is not personally identifiable.

Apple, at the forefront of data privacy

Apple and the concept of data privacy made many headlines after the company shutdown U.S. government requests for backdoor access to an iPhone. Apple, taking a stand for citizen privacy, refused to configure an operating system that would allow that kind of entry, for fear that the system could be used maliciously or that it would set a dangerous precedent.

In its massive 2014 update, Apple wrote that it would “refuse to add a backdoor to any of our products because that undermines the protections we’ve built in.” It noted that only users have the ability to unlock their devices through the unique passwords they create.

What you need to do

To make full use of Apple’s security measures, you should make strong passwords using a series of numbers, letters and symbols. For the password that unlocks your device, however, you’re a bit more limited. To fully protect it, you can use the two-step verification system that Apple has in place, which employs both a password and fingerprint scan.

You should also make note of your own privacy settings. These can be easily adjusted in one area, where apple will tell you which apps are using certain data and give you the option to change these permissions.

Though they are typically lengthy documents, it’s important to understand the privacy policies of the services you use and what kind of information they’re collecting about you. While, oftentimes, it’s relatively harmless, it’s a good practice to follow. Check out our previous articles about Instagram’s privacy policy and look for the next article in our Privacy Policy Series.