In light of the scandal around Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of Facebook data and the forthcoming European regulations, Apple has rolled out new privacy features. This, they say, will make it easier for users to know if their data is being collected by one of the company’s services.
At the launch, Tim Cook, CEO at Apple said the company would roll out four privacy management tools that will allow users to obtain a copy of their data, request a correction of data and deactivate or delete accounts.
The tools will be available across the EU next month and later rolled out globally. The impetus for the tools will be the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which comes into force on 25th May.
The tools will be available on the Apple ID account page and, apart from deactivating an account, all other tasks can already be done by filling in online forms or calling AppleCare.
Nevertheless, this is welcome news. At present Apple doesn’t offer a privacy hub where users could download data and correct information.
Following the revelations of Facebook’s dealings with Cambridge Analytica, privacy of our data has become the number one issue. Tim Cook was scathing about the Facebook scandal saying the media giant had failed to regulate itself effectively that prompted government intervention.
This certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary.
The ability of anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life. From my own point of view, it shouldn’t exist.
The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetised our customer, if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that.
We are for privacy. Your information is yours and you should keep it.- Tim Cook: CEO, Apple Inc
As part of the new privacy features the iOS 11.3 has added a new icon that indicates whenever your device wants to access your personal information, particularly when one of Apple’s features is seeking to access your data.
The introduction of the GDPR aims to give EU citizens, including us Brexit-bound Brits, more control over our data and how companies use it. Businesses that fail to comply with the new regulations could face fines of up to four percent of their annual turnover.