Apple now lets you download a copy of all the data it has on you


Apple data privacy
Apple’s Data and Privacy website launched last year
Photo: Apple

Apple is now giving users the opportunity to download a copy of all the data the company has collected from them. This includes App Store and iTunes activity, Apple ID account and device information, online and retail store activity, AppleCare support history, and more.

The tool is part of Apple’s new Data and Privacy website, which also allows users to correct any information Apple holds about them, and deactivate their account completely.

As a result of this year’s massive privacy scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, technology companies are finally starting to open up about what kind of data they are collecting from us, and how it’s being used. New EU rules are also forcing them to be more transparent.

Apple has always taken user privacy seriously — it’s one of the best in the business at this — but even the iPhone-maker is being clearer about the information it has collected from us.

Apple debuts new Data and Privacy website

Apple’s new Data and Privacy website is a one-stop shop for users who want to find out what Apple knows about them. It’s main tool, available now in many European countries and rolling out to the rest of the world soon, lets users download a copy of all the data Apple has collected.

This download includes:

  • App Store, iTunes Store, iBook Store, and Apple Music activity
  • Apple ID account and device information
  • Apple online store and retail store activity
  • AppleCare support history, repair requests, and more
  • Game Center activity
  • iCloud bookmarks and Reading List
  • iCloud Calendars and Reminders
  • iCloud Contacts
  • iCloud Notes
  • Maps Report an Issue
  • Marketing subscriptions, downloads and other activity
  • Other data

You can choose to download all of this data, or select each of the items above individually. Apple also gives users the ability to download iCloud Drive files and documents, iCloud Mail, and iCloud Photos — but it notes these things “may be large and take a long time to download.”

You might have to wait a week

After choosing which data you would like to download a copy of, Apple processes your request within seven days. “To ensure the security of your data, we use this time to verify that the request was made by you,” the company explains.

App usage and activity information is delivered as spreadsheets or files in JSON, CSV, XML, or PDF format, Apple says. Contacts, calendars, bookmarks, and mail are delivered in VCF, ICS, HTML, and EML. Documents, photos, and videos are delivered in their original format.

Apple lets you select how big you want your files to be to make them easier to download. It offers 1GB, 2GB, 5GB, 10GB, and 25GB options. Your data will be divided automatically.

You can also correct your data

Apple’s new website also explains how users can correct any incorrect information Apple has. It even allows users to temporarily deactivate their account, which prevents it from being used until it is activated again, or to delete their account altogether.

When an account is deleted, Apple removes all of the data associated with it from all of its services.

Apple’s new tools are currently available in European countries to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, they will rollout to all territories in the months ahead.


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