How to Download Data Apple Is Collecting about You

Author: Craig Pollack Date: Jun 11, 2018 Topics: General Business Owner Blogs, Cybersecurity

With the launch of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May and the data privacy concerns that came to light with Facebook’s data controversy in recent months, data collection, user privacy and cybersecurity have become increasingly critical areas of concern.

Apple released a new privacy policy on May 22 that addresses how the company collects, uses, discloses, transfers, and stores the personal information of its Apple technology users. Depending on your country of residence or region, you have the option to:

It is important to note that “The complete set of self-service data and privacy tools is currently available to customers in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.” However, Apple also separately announced its plans to roll out this feature for users in other countries around the world in coming months. In the meantime, Apple customers in other regions or countries may request to have a correction made to their personal data or have their accounts and associated data deleted entirely as part of the company’s data protection efforts.

We’ve put together a brief recap detailing the information that Apple collects on users and a “how-to” for how you can download a record of the personal data that Apple has collected on you.

Types of Data Apple Collects on Customers and Users

Whenever you interact with Apple technology or any of the company’s services (create an Apple ID, purchase a product, download software or updates, apply for credit, etc.), a variety of your personally identifiable information (PII) is collected, including:

  • Your name;
  • Mailing address;
  • Phone number;
  • Email address;
  • Contact preferences;
  • Device identifiers;
  • IP address;
  • Location information;
  • Credit card information;
  • Any information you provide about family or friends (name, email, mailing address, and phone number); and
  • A government-issued ID (in limited cases).

Through this data collection request, you will be able to view all of your information from when you first began interacting with Apple.

How to Download a Record of Your Collected Personal Data

Requesting a copy of your data is pretty straightforward:

  1. Visit the Apple ID & Privacy website.
  2. Sign in using your Apple ID on your Mac, PC or iPad.
  3. Select “Get Started” under “Get a copy of your data.” If this option is not available, it means that the feature is not available in your country or region. If this is the case, you can either select “Get Started” under the “Correct your data” or “Delete your account” sections in the meantime.

If you request a copy of your data (or a subset thereof), the information will post once it is available and you will receive a notification. You’ll have 14 days to download your data before it will be removed in the location and you’ll have to request another copy of your data.

One user on ZDNet shared their experience requesting their personal information from Apple. In a little more than a week, Zack Whittaker shared that he received a zip file containing nearly two dozen excel spreadsheets. The files contained metadata from when he bought his first iPhone but not the actual content conveyed within text messages and photographs.

Know What Data Your Organization Collects on Users

In light of this new data protection regulation and new data collection limitations, it’s important to know from a professional standpoint exactly what kind of client data and PII your organization has in its possession and how new data is collected.

To accomplish this, you’ll need to perform a data audit to assess:

  • What types of data your organization possesses;
  • How all kinds of PII and data are collected, handled, and stored;
  • For what purpose the information is collected and used;
  • Where the data is stored;
  • For how long the data is stored;
  • Who is responsible for maintaining, retaining, and deleting the data; and
  • How data is shared with other vendors, companies, and partners.

Do you know how your organization rates concerning its cybersecurity and data protection initiatives? Click on the image below to download a free cybersecurity report card to grade your organization.

Also, what are your thoughts about the changes to data collection and data protection processes and regulation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or send an email to speak with me about it directly.

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Craig Pollack

Craig Pollack

Craig is the Founder & CEO of FPA Technology Services, Inc. Craig provides the strategy and direction for FPA, ensuring its clients, business owners, and key decision makers leverage technology as efficiently and effectively as possible. With over 25 years of experience building the preeminent IT Service Provider in the Southern California area, Craig is one of the area’s leading authorities on how small to mid-sized businesses can best secure and leverage their technology to achieve their business objectives.