Yesterday, Apple started allowing U.S. users to download a copy of all their data the company stores as a part of their privacy data portal expansion. The company had announced this feature expansion earlier this year.
Per Bloomberg, prior to making this functionality available to U.S users, Apple rolled out the same functionality in Europe earlier this year as part of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.
With this effort, U.S. users will be able to download data such as all of their address book contacts, calendar appointments, music streaming preferences and details about past Apple product repairs. Previously, customers could not get their data without contacting Apple directly.
Apple launched its online privacy portal in May during which U.S users were allowed only to correct their data or delete their Apple accounts.
Apple has also added messages across its apps that tell users how their data is being handled. The company is also rolling out an updated privacy page on its website today detailing what data it does and does not store.
Apple says that it does not store much of user’s data, which was confirmed by Zack Whittaker, a security editor at TechCrunch, when he asked Apple for his own data and the company turned over only a few megabytes of spreadsheets, including his order and purchase histories, and marketing information.
In his article on ZDNet, Zack says, “The zip file contained mostly Excel spreadsheets, packed with information that Apple stores about me. None of the files contained content information — like text messages and photos — but they do contain metadata, like when and who I messaged or called on FaceTime.” He further added, “Any other data that Apple stores is either encrypted — so it can’t turn over — or was only held for a short amount of time and was deleted.”
Zack says that, since then, Apple’s pages have expanded and continued to be transparent on how the company encrypts user data on its devices.
To know more about how Apple encrypts user data in detail, visit Zack’s post on ZDNet.