How to download all the data Apple has on you


Apple’s refreshed Privacy website is live, giving U.S. users the ability to download all of their data from Apple.

The website explains how and why Apple products are “designed to protect your privacy.” Apple is keen to stress that “your data belongs to you,” and it insists that none of it is ever sold to advertisers or other organizations.

The website also gives users the ability to delete an Apple account — and all associated data — if they no longer require it.

Facebook’s creepy speaker cam could boost HomePod


A cheaper version of the HomePod could drop below the $200 mark.
Apple should establish its smart speakers as the anti-Facebook.
Photo: Apple

Facebook’s new Portal smart speaker, an Echo Show rival that’s designed for video chat, sounds like a privacy nightmare straight out of Black Mirror.

But you know who could benefit from concerns about Mark Zuckerberg’s smart camera? Apple — and specifically the HomePod. Here’s why.

Facebook wants to secretly snatch your Instagram location data


Facebook wants your Instagram data.
Photo: Pixabay

Instagram is starting to integrate more closely with Facebook when it comes to your personal location data.

The app is reportedly testing a new feature that would allow Instagram to share all of your GPS coordinates with Facebook without ever opening up the Facebook app. This would allow Facebook to gather more information on you so it can serve up more targeted ads and content, but that might piss off some Instagram fans.

‘Highly plausible’ Apple servers could be infected with spy chips, says former Apple hardware engineer


Instrumental founder and CEO Anna Katrina Shedletsky
Instrumental founder and CEO Anna Katrina Shedletsky, who is using her experience as an Apple product design engineer to bring AI to manufacturing.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Despite Apple’s denials, it’s “highly plausible” that secret spy chips could have been planted on the company’s servers, said a former Apple hardware engineer.

Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, who spent nearly six years at Apple helping build several generations of iPod, iPhone and Apple Watch, said spy chips could have been slipped into the design of servers used for Apple’s iCloud services, as alleged in a Bloomberg Businessweek story.

“With my knowledge of hardware design, it’s entirely plausible to me,” she said. “It’s very highly plausible to me, and that’s scary if you think about it.”

Apple denies its server hardware was infected by Chinese spy chips [Updated]


This isn't actually Apple's data center, but it's close.
Did the chips really make it into Apple's data centers?
Photo: Pexels

Update: Apple and Amazon both issued lengthy statements Thursday concerning the Chinese spy chip allegations. We updated this post to include those statements.

Apple denies that Chinese spy chips infiltrated its iCloud server hardware after claims that motherboards used by Apple, Amazon and dozens of other tech companies contained microchips used for surveillance purposes.

Cupertino insists the story is “wrong and misinformed.” Apple also says Chinese spying had nothing to do with the company’s decision to cut ties with a supplier.

Apple joins other tech giants opposing proposed anti-encryption law


Tim Cook
Tim Cook is a strong supporter of privacy and encryption.
Photo: Apple

Apple has joined Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook in opposing a proposed Australian law requiring tech companies to let law enforcement access private encrypted data in suspected criminal investigations.

The law would seek to punish companies which don’t comply with $7.2 million fines, along with prison terms for individuals. It would make Australia one of the first nations to pass major legislation in this area, although other countries may be keen to follow in its footsteps.

Tim Cook talks privacy, Alex Jones and China in new interview


tim cook
Tim Cook says companies don't need access to your data.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook went on the offensive toward competing companies like Amazon and Google in a new interview tonight on privacy.

Appearing on Vice News Tonight on HBO, the Apple CEO was asked if his company’s stance on privacy is stopping Siri from becoming more competitive with Alexa. Cook pushed back saying any company that says it needs all your data to make its service better is telling you a “bunch of bunk.”

Apple tells Senate privacy is a ‘fundamental human right’


Bud Tribble has been with Apple longer than any other employee.
Photo: CSPAN

Apple’s VP of software technology, Bud Tribble, made an appearance before the U.S. Senate’s Commerce Committee today to advocate for an overhaul of privacy laws in the country.

During the hearing, Apple was joined by other figures from tech giants like Google, Amazon, Twitter, and others to advise lawmakers on the current state of internet privacy. Tribble told lawmakers that Apple views privacy as a “fundamental human right,” but the company went short of offering solutions.

Apple Watch fall detection might get you arrested


The Apple Watch Series 4 fall detection feature can distinguish between a fall, a trip and a slip.
If you're doing something illegal, you could take a fall for slipping up.
Photo: Apple

An Apple Watch Series 4 can detect if you’ve fallen and automatically call 911 to get your injuries tended to. Or get you arrested, depending on the circumstances.

That’s the warning of privacy watchdogs, who point out that 911 calls invite in more than just emergency medical personnel.

Apple wants US to overhaul privacy laws


Apple takes privacy seriously
Any future privacy legislation will likely have little effect on Apple as it already bends over backward to avoid collecting user information.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A high-level Apple executive will tell the the U.S. senate tomorrow that the iPhone maker is in favor of federal privacy regulations.

He’ll be testifying along with representatives of Google and other companies likely to argue against privacy laws.