Archive for January 5, 2021

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Privacy of Apple Podcasts

James Cridland:

But not all of Apple’s products are as private as they should be. And one of them, which doesn’t have a privacy label since it’s part of the underlying OS, is built very poorly indeed when it comes to privacy.


Apple Podcasts doesn’t use a computer server in the cloud for this sort of thing. Instead, by design, every copy of the Apple Podcasts app checks each RSS feed you’re subscribed to.


Apple Podcasts don’t tell you who hosts the podcast you’re subscribing to: it’s not surfaced anywhere in their app.

So, you’ve no knowledge as to whether this personal data is going to a nice, sensible podcast hosting company, or one that isn’t so nice: since it’s not clear anywhere within the podcast app who is the hosting company.

I think this is a bit of an exaggeration. This is not personal information being sent. And fetching the feeds directly is arguably more private since it doesn’t (if you turn off syncing) involve a central cloud service that knows every feed that everyone subscribes to. (Overcast mitigates this by allowing anonymous accounts.) Would you say that Safari should be made “more private” by proxying all requests through Apple’s servers?


Update (2021-01-06): Apple Podcasts does have a privacy label.

Twitter Acquires Breaker

Erik Berlin:

When we started Breaker, podcast apps were productivity apps, similar to feed readers and to-do lists. Breaker added a social community element with features such as liking and commenting on episodes. We’re now inspired to go even further in re-imagining how we communicate with each other, beyond the scope of traditional podcasts.

Sadly, for us and our users, we’ll be shutting down Breaker on Friday, January 15th. This will allow us to focus on building what comes next.