Apple updates privacy website to highlight data protection tools

The revamped website now offers an in-depth explanation of Apple's privacy tools and how you can change your settings.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
3 min read

Apple's software chief, Craig Federighi, discussing new privacy tools at WWDC in June. 

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Apple on Wednesday took another step in its privacy efforts, updating the section of its website that's focused on data protection and controls. It's the company's latest move as it looks to be the privacy leader among tech giants

The updated page serves as a central hub for all things privacy and Apple products, leading with new white papers explaining the company's privacy protections for features like Sign In with Apple and Location Services. Apple frequently publishes white papers on its security and privacy settings, but the new website offers a central location for all of them.  

The new white papers give a deeper dive into how your data is shared, as well as privacy protections that Apple offers. The website has a section dedicated to managing privacy and security settings where you can adjust how much data your devices give to third-party apps.

"Your devices are important to so many parts of your life," Apple said on its updated page. "What you share from those experiences, and who you share it with, should be up to you." 


The updated privacy page from Apple has four new white papers on Apple's privacy protection tools.


Apple isn't the first tech giant to launch a hub for privacy controls; companies like Facebook and Google also have pages dedicated to data management. But Apple has been using privacy protections as a potential marketing advantage over its rivals, since its business model is focused on selling products and services rather than relying on user data. 

In interviews, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said the company is "moving privacy protections forward" while the backlash over data violations continues to loom over Silicon Valley. A series of privacy scandals have affected nearly every major tech company in the last year, including Apple. 

The iPhone maker faced public scrutiny after The Guardian reported in July that Apple contractors were listening in on confidential details from Siri recordings. In August, Apple announced that it was ending that program and that in the future it will require people to opt in to its Siri review program.

Meanwhile, Facebook paid a record $5 billion fine to the Federal Trade Commission this year, while Google was hit with a $57 million fine -- the largest ever imposed under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation in January.

Lawmakers have also taken action. States like California moving forward with strict data privacy protection laws. Several members of Congress have also proposed their own data privacy bills, though tech companies continue to try to shape how federal legislation will look.

Apple's redesigned privacy page brings a focus to all the data protection tools the company introduced in its latest software. These features include controlling how often apps can access your location data, new ways to sign in without giving up your email address and cutting off data trackers on Apple's Safari browser. Many of these features were previously announced, but the updated website offers new white papers with in-depth looks at how these privacy protections work. 

The revamped page also offers insights on older protections like end-to-end encryption for iMessage, random identifiers for Siri and Face ID security measures. The website also breaks down privacy protections on Apple services like News, CarPlay, iCloud and Apple Pay.

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