iWork, Office and Google Docs banned from German schools

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iWork
iWork could expose user data to U.S. authorities.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s iWork platform has been banned from German schools alongside Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs.

Privacy regulators say that using the cloud-based services “exposes personal information about students and teachers.” They also suggest that the data might be accessed by U.S. authorities.

How to ask Google to auto-wipe your activity data on iOS

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Google-app-activity-data
It takes care of itself.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

You can now ask the Google app on iOS to automatically wipe your location and activity history.

The new feature, which was showcased during Google I/O in late May, takes the hassle out of covering your tracks. You only have to set it up once and it will take care of itself going forward. Here’s how to get started.

Google CEO takes a shot at tech giants which sell privacy as a ‘luxury’ product

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A group called Google You Owe Us wants $1000 each after Google invaded their privacy
You guys, we think he was talking about Apple! (Maybe.)
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google and Apple’s feud has cooled a lot in recent years. But like a married couple who are staying together until the kids are at college, neither company is beyond throwing a bit of undercover shade at the other.

Tim Cook has previously taken issue with tech giants which gobble up user data. Now Google CEO Sundar Pichai has taken to the New York Times to blast unnamed tech giants which sell privacy as a “luxury good.”

Secret Apple data spilled through public Box links

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Store your Pages and GarageBand files anywhere, not just in iCloud Drive.
Are you exposing sensitive data in the cloud?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple is one of a larger number of big companies that has been inadvertently leaking sensitive data through Box, the cloud storage service.

Security researchers found that staff were exposing data by sharing public links to files and documents that can be easily discovered. It’s thought more than 90 companies, including Box itself, are affected.

Apple pulls third-party SDKs from Shazam in latest update

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Shazam on iPhone XS
The latest update is out now.
Photo: Apple

Apple has pulled all but one third-party SDK from Shazam in its latest update.

The move wipes out analytics firms, ad networks, open-source projects, and more — including Google AdMob, Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, and DoubleClick. Only HockeyApp, a Microsoft platform for beta testing, is still available.

Apple plans to limit accelerometer and gyroscope access in Safari for iOS

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close all tabs
iOS 12.2 might make Safari more complicated.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple plans to limit Safari’s access to the accelerometer and gyroscope inside your iOS device in an upcoming software update.

iOS 12.2 will prevent websites from having access to motion data by default, rendering certain content unusable — even on Apple’s own website. Users will be able to change this inside Safari’s settings, however.

Facebook will remove iOS app that paid users to ‘spy’ on them

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facebook
Facebook previously ran into problems with Apple for data collection.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Facebook will shut down the iOS version of its Research app after a TechCrunch report revealed how it was paying users aged 13-35 to install a VPN, allowing it to gather data on their phone and web activity.

This follows an incident last August in which Apple asked Facebook to remove its Onavo VPN from the App Store, since it was violating Apple’s data collection policies.

Apple acquires AI startup with a focus on privacy

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Silk Labs
Silk Labs' privacy policy reads like it was written by Tim Cook.
Photo: Silk Labs

Apple has reportedly acquired an artificial intelligence startup that specializes in on-device machine learning software.

Silk Labs’ technology processes data without sending it to the cloud, which is a perfect fit for Apple’s privacy-conscious approach to AI. It’s not clear how much Cupertino paid for the company when the deal was struck earlier this year.

Twitter brings useful data saver feature to iOS

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Twitter
Don't waste all your data on tweets.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The official Twitter app for iPhone and iPad can now help you cut down on your data usage.

Its new data saver feature takes steps to reduce the amount of data required to load tweets in your timeline. It’s also a blessing for those who like to avoid auto-playing videos.