With privacy and personal data becoming a serious issue on the internet, American tech giant Apple has launched a new privacy section on its website that allows users to search and see what kind of data the company has kept on them.
Every since biggies like Facebook and Google have got embroiled in data leak controversies, Apple sees the right to data privacy as a prerogative, which is why the company has decided to launch the section on its website.
The privacy portal had already been tested in the European Union at the time when the General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) came into play.
According to the website, the information collected may include data from calendar entries, photos, documents, website bookmarks, App Store purchases, reminders or support history of repairs to your devices.
The new website also gives users tips to make sure that their data is protected and secured on Apple devices.
Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that data privacy should be considered a fundamental right. The company also says it is committed to offering customers a chance to go through data Apple is collecting through its devices. It wants full transparency in this regard.
The website carries a search function that provides users with a report on the data tracked or collected. Apples seeks to differentiate itself as a company that banks on hardware sales as a business model and not selling customer data to third party app for targeting ads. In fact, Apple also claims that data collection on its side is minimal compared to competitors and despite that the company is able to improve existing products and offers personalised experiences.
To improve features, the company claims that it focuses on groups of people and uses Differential Privacy techniques that scramble the data on individual devices and combines it with the data of other users to determine general patterns.
Apple is also touting its "Intelligent Tracking Prevention" technology, which essentially is a way to stop data collection that causes consumers to see ads for the products that they have recently searched for on the web.
The company has also made changes to certain settings within the system to prevent so-called "machine fingerprinting" or what many call "browser fingerprinting," where a person’s device can be identified using its unique settings and preferences, like special fonts, even if the customer has blocked other forms of data tracking.
Apple is also thinking of launching end-to-end encryption for its Group FaceTime video, which is expected to be launched soon. This feature will allow up to 32 people to join a group conversation. The encryption will also protect data on the new “Screentime” feature.
This development at Apple might be a reaction to the flak that companies like Facebook and Google are getting for their lacklustre efforts in protecting user data. In the end this move is a win-win situation for both Apple and users of Apple devices.
— with inputs from CNBC.