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What Apple Does and Doesn't Know About You 214

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-know-nothing dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Tucked inside Apple's first-ever transparency report, published yesterday, was a not-so-subtle dig at the tech giant's competitors. 'Our business does not depend on collecting personal data,' Apple wrote. 'We have no interest in amassing personal information about our customers.' It's no secret that for social web companies like Google or Facebook, collecting, storing, and analyzing data about every aspect of your life translates into cold, hard cash—the more sensitive and personal, the better. But in the emerging post-NSA new world order, the unwritten privacy-for-cool services agreement that drives the internet ecosystem is making netizens increasingly uneasy."
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What Apple Does and Doesn't Know About You

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  • Re:It's true. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @09:58PM (#45352225)

    I agree. Whenever I hear the next great company say "I don' know" like a blonde bimbo 5 years after being founded when asked how they are going to monetize I think: "I'm not going to like the answer when it comes".

    There is a very easy way for companies to protect you from NSA if they so chose: don't collect info. User name and password so you know it is me when I log in. My IP, duration, what I did none of it needs to be tied to my account. Sure iTunes or Amazon might be able to make that upsale if they know everything I've ever done for 10hrs a year I spend shopping on their site but at what cost? I'd pay that extra $2 in lost profits to have them leave me the hell alone. Especially since I'm not a citizen of said big brother state.

  • Re:It's true. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @10:36PM (#45352431)

    Clearly you didn't bother to read the article. You're delusional if you think Apple doesn't collect your data but then again most mac heads are. It starts by paying 3 times more than comparable products. I give Apple a lot of credit though, at least their marketing department is highly effective. Who else could make "designed in California (and built in chinese sweatshops)" so sexy and expensive?

  • by Bananenrepublik (49759) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @10:41PM (#45352461)

    Yeah, like Apple would forgo an opportunity to earn money, simply because they also earn money elsewhere. They may not be desperate to make money from the data they collect, but they would be stupid (in the "maximum shareholder value" frame of reference) not to benefit from it as much as possible.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @10:50PM (#45352497)

    Where is the '-1, Factually Incorrect' mod when you need it?

    1) Yes, all Apple devices now prompt for an AppleID when you first turn them on. There is a 'Skip' button that you apparently completely missed, though. It is not a hidden button.

    When you hit "skip", it gives you a warning that you won't be able to use the App store. So you have to enter your information even to get free apps, even though they have "no interest in amassing personal information about [their] customers"

    2) Apparently you were unable to do a simple Google search to figure out how to create an iTunes Store account without a credit card. Apple has posted directions [apple.com].

    True.

    Notably, the first step in those directions is signing up for the App store. So you have to enter your information, even though they have "no interest in amassing personal information about [their] customers"

    Having a workaround posted online somewhere seems less intuitive than having a simple "Would you like to link your credit card to this account? YES/NO" prompt during setup. It's almost as if they actually do want the private data they have "no interest in".

    Or does reality not fit with the bad image you want to have of Apple?

    They have "no interest" in the data. Their business doesn't "depend on" the data.
    Why do they collect it anyway?

    Seems to me they've given the other companies a decent excuse, while saying they themselves -don't- have an excuse.

  • Re:It's true. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by smash (1351) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @10:55PM (#45352523) Homepage Journal
    You can install anything you want - if you have a copy of Xcode and a developer certificate. This is probably not what you mean, but i'll take the increase security of running only signed code over the device running any old stuff from anywhere, thanks. Computers have proven that doesn't work over the past 4 years.
  • by trims (10010) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @12:23AM (#45353021) Homepage

    That statement from Apple doesn't even pass the laugh test, let alone a sniff test.

    I live and work in Silicon Valley, and have a substantial number of friends and former co-workers that either are, or have recently, worked for Apple.

    They're collecting data on you. Lots of it. And their "opt out" ways are about as effective as Google's at protecting your data.

    iTunes play patterns, and purchase history. Apple Maps. Location data around phone usage. Location usage, period. Apple Store purchase patterns. Every time you visit an Apple Store. Purchase data from the on-line Apple App Store. The list goes on and on.\

    Some of it anonymized, but most of it really isn't. Even if you "opt out", there's more than enough metadata being collected to identify you.

    So, yeah, Apple's just lying through it's teeth.

  • Re:iads? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:19AM (#45354709)

    On an iOS device go to Settings->Privacy->Advertising and there is a setting labelled "Limit Ad Tracking" which you can enable or disable.
    I don't think Facebook or Google offer that.

    Google was actually fined for using two separate hacks, when to get around the user's privacy settings in Internet Explorer, and a different one to get around the settings in Safari.

  • Re:It's true. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @11:36AM (#45356501)

    Yes, in OSX you currently have a choice. I'm betting in the future that choice will be removed, and you will have to pay for the 'privilege'.

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