Thursday, October 8, 2015 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Apple and Privacy

Nick Heer:

I noticed this too, yesterday, when I was researching for a forthcoming article. The new privacy page is something only Apple can really do because nobody else is actually doing the things they are. But, as a marketing piece, it isn’t necessarily entirely forthcoming.

[…]

When read together — and, particularly, when combined with this support document — this gives the impression that iMessages backed up to iCloud will surely be encrypted, but they’re not.

Apple:

While we do back up iMessage and SMS messages for your convenience using iCloud Backup, you can turn it off whenever you want.

Although not without disabling iCloud Backup entirely.

Matthew Panzarino (via John Gruber):

Here’s a tidbit with regards to Apple Maps. When you query Maps for a trip, Apple generates a generic device identifier and pulls the info using that, rather than an Apple ID. Halfway through your trip, it generates another random ID and associates the second half with that. Then, for good measure, it truncates the trip data so the information about exact origin and destination are not kept. That data is retained for 2 years to improve Maps and then deleted.

Nick Heer:

While Apple was busy greatly improving their privacy page, Google announced a new advertising product called “Customer Match” that’s pretty creepy. If you aren’t opted out of personalized advertising, you may be familiar with a situation where you visit one site, then visit other sites only to find an ad from that first site tagging along. This is known as “remarketing”, and Google’s new advertising product takes it to the next level[…]

John Gruber:

The bottom line: ever-more-personally-targeted ads, and a growing divide between Google’s and Apple’s approach to privacy.

Tim Cook (comments):

I don’t think you will hear the [National Security Agency] asking for a back door. ... There have been different conversations with the FBI, I think, over time. ... But my own view is everyone’s coming around to some core tenets. And those core tenets are that encryption is a must in today’s world.

[…]

We do think that people want us to help them keep their lives private. We see that privacy is a fundamental human right that people have. We are going to do everything that we can to help maintain that trust.

Peter Taylor (comments):

Mr Snowden said GCHQ could gain access to a handset by sending it an encrypted text message and use it for such things as taking pictures and listening in.

[…]

“It’s called an ‘exploit’,” he said. “That’s a specially crafted message that’s texted to your number like any other text message but when it arrives at your phone it’s hidden from you. It doesn’t display. You paid for it [the phone] but whoever controls the software owns the phone.”

Amy X. Wang:

Once in, agencies can allegedly access many functions of the phone—reading messages, looking at web history, and even taking secret photos with the camera—without the owner’s knowledge.

That would explain why they don’t need to ask for a back door.

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