iPhone update adds private life, “transparency”

Getty Images

Apple has updated its iOS, MacOS and tvOS operating systems to give people more information about how their personal data are collected and used.

After the update, customers will see new screens of information when they are using Apple-made applications that collect personal data, such as the App Store.

The change comes ahead of the new EU data protection rules, which takes effect on May 23.

Apple also plans to allow people to download the data it has stored about them.

The EU’s general Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) strengthens the requirements on the manner in which organizations handle public data, and imposes more severe penalties for offences.

Apple has already made the promotion of its services and smartphones as being privacy.

The last software update does not change the amount of data collected, but new information on the privacy screens appear when people use certain Apple-made applications for the first time.

Tapping on the notification to view detailed information about what data is being collected and how it is used.

However, customers will not be able to cut some types of data collection. For example, they will not be able to download free apps from the App Store without having first set up an Apple ID account.

Apple also plans to release new tools in May that will help customers:
download a copy of all the data Apple stores about them, including photos, videos, and iCloud back-ups
to temporarily disable their Apple ID, which will stop Apple of data processing
permanently delete their Apple ID, which will erase all the data from the Apple store and, within a period of 30 days.

The privacy-focused Open Rights Group welcomed the changes.

“Making the privacy settings more transparent and give people more control, is better. This happens because companies are to check what they do before new data protection rules kick in,” said Jim Killock.

“The new rules have forced everyone to make changes, including some of the big us-based companies. It is a victory for privacy and it shows that we can make improvements, if governments listen to the people’s well-founded concerns about privacy.”