Apple has moved to alleviate fears that its iPhones collect revealing data about their users, by spelling out its privacy practices.
The Cupertino company updated its privacy pages on its website to specifically highlight that it doesn’t collect information specific to its customers.
Rather, under Apple’s Differential Privacy approach, user data is scrambled and stripped of any identifying attributes then mixed with other data from millions of iPhone users in order for Apple to analyse how its apps and features are used, for example which emojis are the most popular and how much energy does the Safari browser use up.
With Apple’s face scanning technology Face ID making its debut in the iPhone X, due for release in November, concerns that the tech could be exploited to allow companies and governments to spy on iPhone users could be found popping up all over the internet. People noted that if Face ID data was stored on Apple servers, governments could pressure the company into allowing law enforcement authorities access to that information, and if hackers were to access it they could cause all manner of identity stealing trouble.
However, Apple was adamant that it has designed its identification features like Touch ID with user security and privacy in mind.
“Every Apple product is designed from the ground up to protect that information. And to empower you to choose what you share and with whom. We’ve proved time and again that great experiences don’t have to come at the expense of your privacy and security. Instead, they can support them,” the company said.
Apple didn’t mention Face ID directly, but given the identification data collected by the tech remains stored and secured on the iPhone and doesn’t get sent to an Apple server, it is likely the new biometric feature out of Cupertino will also adhere to Apple’s own strict privacy rules.
Not all companies are open with what they do with the data they collect, so it’s worth keeping that in mind when you sign up to new services, download new apps or opt for an Android smartphone.
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