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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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  • It's true. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @09:45PM (#45352147) Homepage Journal

    Put the cash on the table for an iPhone or iPad: your deal is done. Get "free" Facebook, Google, etc. and your private information is how they make their money.

    I'm happier paying up front and leaving the store with no parasites attached to me.
    • 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.

      • Exactly. Keep the absolute minimum of logs, and delete those logs routinely when they are no longer needed. Don't ask for personally identifying data, and if your business actually requires any type of such data - delete it as soon as practicable. Sixty or ninety days after payment for a purchase has cleared - you certainly don't need the identifying information any longer. Just delete it. There is no justification for selling that information to marketers. None. There is certainly no justification fo

        • What is the difference between keeping all manor of information on a person, and Stalking?
          • Stalking is personal. The data mining is impersonal.

            If I were to keep dossiers on the two, or ten, or thirty hottest women I could find, that would be stalking. If, on the other hand, I'm keeping dossiers on everyone in my county, it isn't stalking.

        • Exactly. Keep the absolute minimum of logs, and delete those logs routinely when they are no longer needed. Don't ask for personally identifying data, and if your business actually requires any type of such data - delete it as soon as practicable. Sixty or ninety days after payment for a purchase has cleared - you certainly don't need the identifying information any longer. Just delete it. There is no justification for selling that information to marketers. None. There is certainly no justification for keeping it around just in case Uncle Sam should ask for it. Tell Uncle to pay for his own investigations.

          When the law says 'keep that data for -n- years, that's how long it's needed.

          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            Then you keep what's required and you write what it is in a big font and plain language when people sign up, and somewhere obvious (like the Privacy link) whenever they want to refresh their memories.

            Most companies keep MUCH more than is required by law, and are very evasive about what it is they're keeping and what it is they're using it for.

      • by morgauxo (974071)

        Can / does the NSA force companies to keep information? Could deleting the information in some sort of twisted police state logic be construed as destroying evidence or something similar to that? If this kind of thing happens then no doubt there are gag orders so we don't ever hear about it.

        • It's not destroying evidence unless they can prove a crime has been committed. They can't prove a crime as been committed without evidence. So they should be fine. You can't sue someone for not having something. The whole deal with the government being able to get records from companies hinges on the argument that the companies own the records not the customers. If the company owns them they have the right to do with them as they wish. That is until they make some sort of data retention laws for everyone no

        • Under current law, my understanding is that this is not possible. Occasionally, some enterprising congress critter suggests a new law requiring providers of services to maintain all sorts of logs, but the folks on the left typically attack it as being an unacceptable privacy invasion, and the folks on the right attack it as being an unsustainable burden on business.

          But it's possible that some day, a law will pass requiring all companies to keep exhaustive, indexed laws of all electronic communication, b
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nerdfest (867930)

      If Apple only makes their money selling hardware, how about opening up the OS to allow people to install anything they want? I'm happier having Google handle my searches and email than giving money to a company that keeps attempting to lock people to their 'walled garden'. Many people still use Google services even if they have an iOS device as well, as it tends to be some of the best available. Apple can get in all the 'digs' they want on their competition, but the RDF ain't what it used to be.

      • Re: It's true. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So you (basically) have no problem with Google data mining your life. Good for you!

        • by toppavak (943659)
          Not in the slightest. I'm one of (seemingly many) people who seem to believe that the payment Google offers in exchange for access to my personal information is quite fair. Just because you don't doesn't mean that other people are somehow ignorant for not having realized what "the game" is, it just means that they have slightly different ideas of what different types of privacy mean to them, which aspects of their privacy they are willing to put a price on and what that price might be.
      • Re:It's true. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @10:51PM (#45352505) Homepage

        If Apple only makes their money selling hardware

        I suspect these days Apple makes a lot of money from iTunes.

        I'm happier having Google handle my searches and email than giving money to a company that keeps attempting to lock people to their 'walled garden'.

        Have you used an Android tablet? I know my Nexus tries really hard to at least steer (if not downright force) me into using some Google stuff. I've had to actively prevent it from enrolling me in some Google services.

        I'm betting Samsung tries to do the same thing. And, gee, I seem to recall Micrsosoft has decided to follow suit with their own 'walled garden'. Apple created a business model which everyone desperately wants to re-create.

        Apple can get in all the 'digs' they want on their competition, but the RDF ain't what it used to be.

        It remains to be see how they do in the long run, but Apple is still worth around $100 billion dollars or so -- I'd say that so far what you call the reality distortion field has, in reality, been working quite well from a business perspective.

        Like 'em or hate 'em, Apple has had people lining up to buy their stuff (literally), and then keep buying stuff from iTunes and give them a pretty steady bit of revenue.

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

          by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @01:32AM (#45353329)

          I suspect these days Apple makes a lot of money from iTunes.

          Well if only Apple released quarterly earnings [apple.com] so that you could find out.

          iPad: $19.51B
          iPhone: $6.19B
          Mac: $5.62B
          iPod: $0.57B
          iTunes/Software/Services: $4.26B

          For the sake of argument all of the $4.26B was iTunes sales. That means Apple gets $1.26B after they give their 70% cut to the copyright/developer. But that's revenue not profit. Well $1.26B is a lot of revenue and again let's assume it's 100% profit (it's not). However, they make almost 6x as much revenue on the iPhone and 18x much on the iPad. In other words, their software sales is a pittance compared to hardware.

          • Re:It's true. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by feral-troll (3419661) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @03:59AM (#45353873)

            I suspect these days Apple makes a lot of money from iTunes.

            Well if only Apple released quarterly earnings [apple.com] so that you could find out.

            iPad: $19.51B iPhone: $6.19B Mac: $5.62B iPod: $0.57B iTunes/Software/Services: $4.26B

            For the sake of argument all of the $4.26B was iTunes sales. That means Apple gets $1.26B after they give their 70% cut to the copyright/developer. But that's revenue not profit. Well $1.26B is a lot of revenue and again let's assume it's 100% profit (it's not). However, they make almost 6x as much revenue on the iPhone and 18x much on the iPad. In other words, their software sales is a pittance compared to hardware.

            Yeah but they still have a point, their business model is not based on "collecting, storing, and analysing data about every aspect of your life" and then converting it into cash. It's a question of prioritization. If living outside of Apple's 'walled garden' is more important to you than your privacy then by all means use Google's services and devices running their OS. Alternatively you could use products from a third party although that is, admittedly, not easy in the growing Android monoculture we find ourselves increasingly stuck with. In the mean time perhaps we should all consider not going for click-bait like this story.

          • by GauteL (29207)

            "For the sake of argument all of the $4.26B was iTunes sales. That means Apple gets $1.26B after they give their 70% cut to the copyright/developer. But that's revenue not profit. Well $1.26B is a lot of revenue and again let's assume it's 100% profit (it's not). However, they make almost 6x as much revenue on the iPhone and 18x much on the iPad. In other words, their software sales is a pittance compared to hardware."

            A very unfair comparison. You have deducted the major expense from the iTunes sales, but n

            • A very unfair comparison. You have deducted the major expense from the iTunes sales, but not from the hardware sales.

              It's not an unfair comparison if it's true. On the hardware side, they don't have to deduct 70% of the sale immediately to give to Intel, Sharp, etc. We know that 70% of the revenue immediately goes to the copyright holder/developer. That means Apple gets 30% of the revenue to cover their costs and profit. So logically they make much less than 30% profit.

              They do have to pay the manufacturers of their hardware you know, just as they have to pay the copyright holders of the songs they sell.

              We don't exactly how much Apple must pay to manufacturers but we know Apple makes more than 30% profit on hardware.

              They also have to advertise their hardware products heavily, while for iTunes the advertisement is mostly done by others.

              Er what? So Apple never has to ad

          • For the sake of argument all of the $4.26B was iTunes sales. That means Apple gets $1.26B after they give their 70% cut to the copyright/developer. But that's revenue not profit. Well $1.26B is a lot of revenue and again let's assume it's 100% profit (it's not). However, they make almost 6x as much revenue on the iPhone and 18x much on the iPad. In other words, their software sales is a pittance compared to hardware.

            If Apple tell you in their results that they made $4.26B, it's probably how much they cashed in, developers' share taken out...

            • Not according to what I know about accounting rules. If it is reported as "revenue" it is before any deductions. It would have been different it the collection was done by another party but since Apple is collecting the money, they have report it all. For example, a company on eBay can report sales as what eBay gives them after eBay takes their cut as eBay acts as a middleman.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I have a Nexus 4 and "tries really hard to steer me into using some Google stuff" translates as "prompt you for a google account every time you try to use something which requires one". But if you simply skip entering google account details (there is a convenient arrow) and then drag the google folder off your homescreen into the trash and never open a google app again, you'll never see a google account prompt again. Yes, all the google apps are in one drawer, so you don't even have to drag a million icons

          • by gsslay (807818)

            If you do not enter a google account you cannot download anything (even the free stuff) from Google Play.

            That's fine if you never have any need for anything that isn't installed by default, but most people want to add to that. Or you want to get updates on the apps you do have. Once that Google Account is in there, even if it is for that one purpose, you'll find it a constant fight to keep things from being synced to it. Because it is the default action for practically everything, and is often a hidde

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by smash (1351)
        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 smash (1351)
          UH... that was meant to be past "40" years, not 4.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        how about opening up the OS to allow people to install anything they want?

        Two words: quality control.

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        This used to be the case.

        The recent financial report from Apple has demonstrated that they now make a sizeable portion of their gross revenue from the iTunes/App store. This is a change from just a few years ago where it was a tiny sliver.

        The store has been wildly successful for them and third party developers.

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        You can install anything you want on a Mac. On an iOS device you can use whatever e-mail account you want (including Google) with the built in e-mail client, or install any of dozens of others you like, including the Google mail app.

    • 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.

      • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @11:37PM (#45352753) Journal

        Yeah, like Apple would forgo an opportunity to earn money, simply because they also earn money elsewhere.

        They've done exactly that, many times. Not all profitable activities are profitable enough to be worth Apple's time and attention. That's why they gave up making the Xserve and Xserve RAID products, for example.

        -jcr

      • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @11:53PM (#45352863)

        True, but that's only part of the equation. If privacy is valuable to their customers, Apple will gain customers (and money) by not harvesting their data.

        Besides, Google is far more experienced at data mining than Apple is likely to ever be, so rather than try to beat Google at their own game, it's probably wiser for Apple to play counterpoint here.

      • they would be stupid (in the "maximum shareholder value" frame of reference) not to benefit from it as much as possible.

        "Stupidity" would be to ignore there's a very real demographic who values privacy and will pay a premium to companies that respect that.

        Long term value is not gained from harming or devaluing customers.

      • by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:27AM (#45354719)

        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.

        They would be stupid. Abusing your data is not part of their business. It would be very hard to turn this into profit, and Google is probably better at it :-) On the other hand, the price they would have to pay in lost hardware sales because of damaged reputation would outweigh any of those profits.

    • They held out longer than some others, but Apple now cooperates in spying on their customers.

      • by Burz (138833)

        iTunes--- I totally forgot about this! One of the biggest marketing engines in the world supposedly has "no interest" in collecting personal info?

    • FTFA:

      Apple gathers up about as much personal information on users as any other big tech company. The main difference is, it says it doesn't connect the dots. It may know everything about you, but it doesn't know you're you.

      As to the last sentence of that: Sure and the cheque's in the mail. ... And

      ... Even if it does anonymize non-personal information, separate the sensitive life details you reveal to Siri or Safari from the company's user profile of you, and not associate your always-tracked device with

    • by bhagwad (1426855)

      Good for you. I happily and willingly give my private information to Google and benefit from their free services. I win. They win. Everyone wins. What's not to like about this?

    • by minus9 (106327)

      "Put the cash on the table for an iPhone or iPad: your deal is done."

      You forget the "Create ITunes account" bit.
    • Odd, I though the cloud was the endgame from their 1984 commercial.

      1984 commercial alternate ending -- the cloud [youtube.com]

    • I see this argument all the time and I find it hard to believe that the people making these claims don't have a Facebook account.
    • by morgauxo (974071)

      I don't think that is a very good reason to chose an iOS device. Maybe Apple is better about privacy than Google. Or.. maybe they are just better at lying about it. I don't know but here is the more important difference to me... Google gives me a choice. I can remove all the Google services from my Android phone any time I want to. Yes, that includes the Play store. You don't have to use Google's 'marketplace' to install apps on an Android device. I can then chose from a number of alternatives that ha

  • by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @09:45PM (#45352149)

    ...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...

    "emerging"
    "post-"
    "NSA"
    "new world order"
    "unwritten agreement"
    "services"
    "privacy"
    "meaningless-hyphenation"
    "drive"
    "internet ecosystem"
    "netizens"

  • bull. shit. (Score:4, Informative)

    by nimbius (983462) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @09:46PM (#45352155) Homepage
    http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/153/apple-phones-home-too [red-sweater.com]
    https://www.apple.com/privacy/ [apple.com]
    When you share your content with family and friends using Apple products, send gift certificates and products, or invite others to join you on Apple forums, Apple may collect the information you provide about those people such as name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

    When you create an Apple ID, register your products, apply for commercial credit, purchase a product, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Retail Store, or participate in an online survey, we may collect a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, and credit card information.
    • by Petersko (564140)

      You could read that as, "We're evil and we're collecting your information for nefarious purposes", or you could read it as, "We don't want to pull a 'google-wifi', so we'll cover our asses with a 'we may'".

    • Don't forget their history of things that you buy via iTunes. And don't forget that Apple "sells" that information by way of iAds.

      So, no, Apple's business doesn't depend on getting personal information for marketing purposes. It's just a happy side benefit.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Collecting name and contact information

      compared to...

      Making database of email contents, web browsing habits, search strings, chats, voice calls, social network, photos, etc, including "dark profiles" of non-"customers"

      Yeah, totally the same thing.

    • Re:bull. shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @10:44PM (#45352473)

      When you share your content with family and friends using Apple products, send gift certificates and products, or invite others to join you on Apple forums, Apple may collect the information you provide about those people such as name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

      One might reasonably expect that if you're having Apple send an e-mail message to somebody else (such as "here's a URL", "here's a picture", "join me on this forum", etc.), they would need to collect that person's e-mail address at minimum (and a name so that the From: line doesn't look quite so cheesy), and that if they're going to send someone a physical product, they would need to collect that person's name and mailing address at minimum. I don't know about the phone number, unless that might be used if you "send" them a product to be delivered to an Apple store rather than to their home and you specify that they should be sent a text message when the product arrives (which is an option they offer).

      When you create an Apple ID, register your products, apply for commercial credit, purchase a product, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Retail Store, or participate in an online survey, we may collect a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, and credit card information.

      At least when purchasing things, they'd need credit card information if you're purchasing stuff online. Most if not all sites where I've used my credit card want my mailing address (perhaps to make sure that credit card really belongs to the person at 111 Penny Lane, Anytown, USA), my name (perhaps to make sure that the credit card really belongs to Jane Doe), and some want the phone number (perhaps to call me if there's a problem).

      So, yes, in some sense, their business, like many other businesses, requires that you provide them with some amount of personal data so that they can send you messages, bill your credit card, etc.. Apple's claim, for what it's worth, appears to be "the personal data is not of value to us for other purposes", e.g. "Safari doesn't keep track of where you go online so that we can send you e-mail about Apple products that our analysis of that data suggests you might like".

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        One might reasonably expect that if you're having Apple send an e-mail message to somebody else (such as "here's a URL", "here's a picture", "join me on this forum", etc.), they would need to collect that person's e-mail address

        Why on earth would that be? They generate a URL/code and you can email it to whoever you want using your own email client. HTML supports generating mailto links with the subject and body filled out for you, so why not just use that? At least if you send the email there is less chance of it accidentally being marked as bulk spam from a server that spews thousands of near identical messages every day.

        If Apple really cared about privacy they could easily provide all this functionality in a way that doesn't req

    • Yeah, and? Unless they have actual magic at their disposal (as opposed to the way that they refer to some of their products as "magical"), I don't see how they can possibly deliver something to a recipient unless they collect at least some contact information, do you? If you sign into iTunes and send someone a gift certificate, Apple needs to know who you're sending it to and how they can be reached. Is this really a surprise? Is this really unexpected behavior or in any way deleterious to the privacy of th

  • We'll just purchase it from Google/Facebook since everyone's so keen on posting up everything they do in their lives everywhere.

  • Paraphrased from within the link, "We have a lot of privacy information, we just don't connect it together." How flattering Apple, you know, this reminds me of (insert country here) that is collecting a ton of (insert commodity here). They don't plan to use it of course. They just like collecting it, and doing nothing interesting with it. No, nothing special all. Isn't that right, Apple? Or, should I say, Big BrApple?!?! (Terrible joke, I know)
    • by Guy Harris (3803)

      Paraphrased from within the link, "We have a lot of privacy information, we just don't connect it together." How flattering Apple, you know, this reminds me of (insert country here) that is collecting a ton of (insert commodity here). They don't plan to use it of course. They just like collecting it, and doing nothing interesting with it. No, nothing special all. Isn't that right, Apple?

      No, it's not. They do things with it, such as:

      • using your credit card information to charge you when you make a purchase;
      • using your name and address to, I suspect, check whether it really is your credit card;
      • using your e-mail address to send you whatever messages you ask them to send;
      • using your friends' e-mail addresses and names to send them messages when you share pictures/URLs/etc. with them or ask them to join you on a forum;
      • using your friends' mailing addresses if you buy a gift for them and ask
  • Things get more interesting with the second category: "non-personal" information, which is any user data that isn't associated with a specific individual. We're talking about details like customers' jobs, real-time location, habits, and the like. That data, the company says, is collected anonymously. Apple has free reign to share, sell, or store it however it damn pleases.

    Just because Apple hasn't explicitly tied a name to the information doesn't mean it's anonymous. Even a fragment of the location data is

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Thanks to Snowden the world now understands what telcos, OS and hardware makers like to do.
      Enjoy your computer games, surfing for sport, celeb news, tech news and music.
      They sold you junk encryption so enjoy their junk OS and enjoy feeding back to that powerful tracking everyday.
      Any real creativity can be done on other OS, well understood hardware and with quality emerging crypto.
      Consume tracked digital culture in a random yet bland way :)
      The other interesting aspect is now watching the flood of ski
    • by Xest (935314)

      Yes you're right, and it's arguably even worse than that. I'm not accusing Apple of this, because I have no evidence but I'm putting it out there because it's still a possibility. It's possible that when companies make such claims they are just weasel words such that to have some degree of certainty that the implied meaning is identical to the exact meaning, you need a far more explicit statement of fact than something general like that.

      I know for a fact that "We don't connect the dots" can sometimes simply

  • Why do I need a Apple account to download free apps?
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Mostly for a security setting to only run trusted apps, easy updating globally, reviews. You might spend $5 or $200 over time after finding 'free' useful and well coded.
      You can still get/run software from anywhere on the net: open source, shareware, rental, retail.
    • by EvilSS (557649)
      Because that's the way they decided to build it. Get over it.
  • 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

    • by mveloso (325617) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @02:54AM (#45353647)

      Apple may collect that information, but as Apple said, their business does not depend on the sale of that info. Selling access to you is not core to their business, like FB and Google.

      They'd be stupid if they didn't collect that information. You're a 5 digit ID - can't you tell the difference between "we don't care about selling your data" and "your data is what we sell?"

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The problem is that data need never rot and corporations never die. Do you trust the Apple of tomorrow with your data of yesterday?

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        iTunes very much depends on linking up that data. Your preferences are used to select what new goods and services are marketed to you through the iTunes interface. Without it they would make much less money.

        They also sell iAds to third parties, just like Google does. Don't kid yourself, they make a packet by abusing your personal data, and you agreed to it through the epic iTunes EULA. Go read the whole thing, it's all right there about how they use your data. Get back to us in a week or two when you are fi

    • That.
      I installed Mavericks on my Mac Mini last week.
      Clean install, no Bluetooth, no personal information given, no smartphone connected and obviously no GPS.
      Just localhost login and WiFi password.
      I wanted to take a look at Apple Maps and clicked on "Your location" to see if it would get my city right.
      Well, the map was zoomed at 20 on my balcony, with the exact address.
      It took me a while to understand how they did it.

      • That.
        I installed Mavericks on my Mac Mini last week.
        Clean install, no Bluetooth, no personal information given, no smartphone connected and obviously no GPS.
        Just localhost login and WiFi password.
        I wanted to take a look at Apple Maps and clicked on "Your location" to see if it would get my city right.
        Well, the map was zoomed at 20 on my balcony, with the exact address.
        It took me a while to understand how they did it.

        IP based geolocation? Third party providers gave een doing this for ages... they get the data from telcos.

        • That's what I though too. But I really don't think that would give you an exact location with 5m accuracy.
          Apple has a database with WiFi Router MAC Addresses linked to coordinates, thanks to so many people having IPhones in the neighboorhood.

  • If only we _were_ in a "post-NSA new world order".

    Pete Boyd

  • I'm surprised no one brought up the fact that Apple dropped a Patriot Act dead man's switch [google.com] into their report:

    "Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge such an order if served on us."
  • For example: Years ago it was found that Apple stored location data unencrypted "on its devices". No, they didn't. Their software stored location data on the user's device. Unaccessible to Apple. (And since the data originally came _from Apple_, all the nutters who claimed that Apple put the data there for some nefarious purpose were just nutters. If Apple wanted to keep track of this data, they would have made a copy on their servers).

    You can of course store lots of your data on Apple's servers, but tha

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