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What Apple Does and Doesn't Know About You

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the we-know-nothing dept.

Privacy 214

Daniel_Stuckey writes "Tucked inside Apple's first-ever transparency report, published yesterday, was a not-so-subtle dig at the tech giant's competitors. 'Our business does not depend on collecting personal data,' Apple wrote. 'We have no interest in amassing personal information about our customers.' It's no secret that for social web companies like Google or Facebook, collecting, storing, and analyzing data about every aspect of your life translates into cold, hard cash—the more sensitive and personal, the better. But in the emerging post-NSA new world order, the unwritten privacy-for-cool services agreement that drives the internet ecosystem is making netizens increasingly uneasy."

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It's true. (4, Insightful)

grub (11606) | about a year ago | (#45352147)


Put the cash on the table for an iPhone or iPad: your deal is done. Get "free" Facebook, Google, etc. and your private information is how they make their money.

I'm happier paying up front and leaving the store with no parasites attached to me.

Re:It's true. (5, Interesting)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about a year ago | (#45352225)

I agree. Whenever I hear the next great company say "I don' know" like a blonde bimbo 5 years after being founded when asked how they are going to monetize I think: "I'm not going to like the answer when it comes".

There is a very easy way for companies to protect you from NSA if they so chose: don't collect info. User name and password so you know it is me when I log in. My IP, duration, what I did none of it needs to be tied to my account. Sure iTunes or Amazon might be able to make that upsale if they know everything I've ever done for 10hrs a year I spend shopping on their site but at what cost? I'd pay that extra $2 in lost profits to have them leave me the hell alone. Especially since I'm not a citizen of said big brother state.

Re:It's true. (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45352543)

Exactly. Keep the absolute minimum of logs, and delete those logs routinely when they are no longer needed. Don't ask for personally identifying data, and if your business actually requires any type of such data - delete it as soon as practicable. Sixty or ninety days after payment for a purchase has cleared - you certainly don't need the identifying information any longer. Just delete it. There is no justification for selling that information to marketers. None. There is certainly no justification for keeping it around just in case Uncle Sam should ask for it. Tell Uncle to pay for his own investigations.

Re:It's true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352893)

There is a very easy way for companies to protect you from NSA if they so chose: don't collect info.

This made me laugh... the notion that your information is safer in the hands of one or more for-profit corporations than an intelligence agency.

So if Facebook wants to protect you from the NSA, they wouldn't ask you for your private information, and if the NSA didn't exist, there wouldn't be a problem there...

Would you... feel better if we privatized the NSA and called it Facebook 2.0? Heh. Hehehe. hehehehehehheeeeee.... idiots.

Re:It's true. (4, Insightful)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year ago | (#45353789)

Yes, I would feel better because you have a choice not to use Facebook.

Re:It's true. (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#45352275)

If Apple only makes their money selling hardware, how about opening up the OS to allow people to install anything they want? I'm happier having Google handle my searches and email than giving money to a company that keeps attempting to lock people to their 'walled garden'. Many people still use Google services even if they have an iOS device as well, as it tends to be some of the best available. Apple can get in all the 'digs' they want on their competition, but the RDF ain't what it used to be.

Re: It's true. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352359)

So you (basically) have no problem with Google data mining your life. Good for you!

Re: It's true. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353341)

We supposedly know extend to which their rich is there. At least have ability and others can do it for you.
Example: I have android phone. I have custom CHROOT on it. I know where my internet traffic is going to and from.(tcpdump under debian). I can have control over ALL trafic on Linux kernel level.
Guess what, I can't do this on Apple phones. Apple has been caught red handed with scandal of colelcting your geo location data.
BOOM HEADSHOT!

So,,, apple vs google? google any day of week, thank you!

Re: It's true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353525)

Oh, forgot to add, depends, if you ain't using google services on mobile, i don't think information will go anywhere, not unless you give permission for it to go anywhere. So when it comes to hardware, I am guessing, that Google's private policy is no worse than Apple's one.

Re:It's true. (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45352505)

If Apple only makes their money selling hardware

I suspect these days Apple makes a lot of money from iTunes.

I'm happier having Google handle my searches and email than giving money to a company that keeps attempting to lock people to their 'walled garden'.

Have you used an Android tablet? I know my Nexus tries really hard to at least steer (if not downright force) me into using some Google stuff. I've had to actively prevent it from enrolling me in some Google services.

I'm betting Samsung tries to do the same thing. And, gee, I seem to recall Micrsosoft has decided to follow suit with their own 'walled garden'. Apple created a business model which everyone desperately wants to re-create.

Apple can get in all the 'digs' they want on their competition, but the RDF ain't what it used to be.

It remains to be see how they do in the long run, but Apple is still worth around $100 billion dollars or so -- I'd say that so far what you call the reality distortion field has, in reality, been working quite well from a business perspective.

Like 'em or hate 'em, Apple has had people lining up to buy their stuff (literally), and then keep buying stuff from iTunes and give them a pretty steady bit of revenue.

Re:It's true. (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#45353329)

I suspect these days Apple makes a lot of money from iTunes.

Well if only Apple released quarterly earnings [apple.com] so that you could find out.

iPad: $19.51B
iPhone: $6.19B
Mac: $5.62B
iPod: $0.57B
iTunes/Software/Services: $4.26B

For the sake of argument all of the $4.26B was iTunes sales. That means Apple gets $1.26B after they give their 70% cut to the copyright/developer. But that's revenue not profit. Well $1.26B is a lot of revenue and again let's assume it's 100% profit (it's not). However, they make almost 6x as much revenue on the iPhone and 18x much on the iPad. In other words, their software sales is a pittance compared to hardware.

Re:It's true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352507)

No thanks. I have a wife. I don't have to play IT on iPhone or iPad except to download the excessive pictures and video. You open it and this changes. Buy an Andriod, ok?

Re:It's true. (1, Interesting)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#45352523)

You can install anything you want - if you have a copy of Xcode and a developer certificate. This is probably not what you mean, but i'll take the increase security of running only signed code over the device running any old stuff from anywhere, thanks. Computers have proven that doesn't work over the past 4 years.

Re:It's true. (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#45352819)

How would you like to be limited in what you can install on your Mac? Wouldn't it be nice to have the option? Sadly, I think that's going to go away as well, and you'll have to pay for the privilege. Microsoft is steering that way with 'Metro' as well. Giving money to these companies is funding the loss of the ability to use your own devices as you choose. With user ids as low as yours I'd think you'd have been around long enough to remember the 'bad old days' of IBM. We're headed there again, and giving money to Apple is effectively stating "thank you sir, may I have another".

Re:It's true. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352967)

Yet you advocate being the product of Google that they can sell to other people.

Re:It's true. (5, Insightful)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#45353199)

Apple's path involves the customer paying with money.

Android/Google's path involves the customer paying via advertising --- which means being annoyed with popups and crapwares --- but not having to pay $$$ for features.

You do have to pick one of these 2 options, you know. If Apple were to let go of the walled garden --- they can't be gatekeeper and their devices would be the same as Android for all intensive purposes.

I'm thinking you don't understand that if Apple isn't Apple, the Google/Android way would over-run the experience and very quickly (no supervision = the insane run the asylum).

The only other way is the Linux-style scorched Earth policy that makes it incredibly hard to make money resulting in a barren, but interesting, retro self-help paradise of sorts.

Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick any 2.

Apple is Fast and Good, but not cheap. (Anything you want exists but isn't cheap)

Android is Fast and Cheap, but not good. (Anything you want is free, but comes with unwanted side-effect)

Linux is Cheap and Good, but not fast. (Anything you want exists and is free, but is time consuming and inconsistent).

Re:It's true. (5, Insightful)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#45353599)

Above isn't troll, it's pretty much fact. Newsflash kiddos: there is no free lunch. You either pay up-front with money (Apple), or you pay with privacy/advertising (Google), or you pay with spending time to sort things out yourself (Linux/BSD/etc.). Make your choice.

Re:It's true. (3, Informative)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#45353515)

I already leave gatekeeper on, and can sign code if need be. Again, it is a necessary evil in my opinion - allowing unsigned code from anywhere to run is just a disaster.

Re:It's true. (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#45353511)

UH... that was meant to be past "40" years, not 4.

Re:It's true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352677)

Because the user experience that sacrifice brings is a rather substantial part of those sales. No, it isn't the only way to make that much money, but it's the way they chose and it's part of how they deliver the performance they do on the hardware they ship.

Until something becomes more important to the customer base than the benefits they reap through that model, Apple's going to stick with it.

If you'd rather trade personal information for more flexibility, or openness over efficiency, then you have that choice. If you think it's an imperfect and unnecessary choice to have to make, all I have to say is, "Welcome to the real world, where all choices are imperfect."

Re:It's true. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352731)

how about opening up the OS to allow people to install anything they want?

Two words: quality control.

Re:It's true. (1)

feral-troll (3419661) | about a year ago | (#45353815)

If Apple only makes their money selling hardware, how about opening up the OS to allow people to install anything they want? I'm happier having Google handle my searches and email than giving money to a company that keeps attempting to lock people to their 'walled garden'. Many people still use Google services even if they have an iOS device as well, as it tends to be some of the best available. Apple can get in all the 'digs' they want on their competition, but the RDF ain't what it used to be.

IIRC Apple also makes tons money selling software and media. If you prefer living naked in Google's glass house to living fully clothed in Apple's walled garden that's your preference.

Re:It's false. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352345)

"your deal is done" ?? No way. 'Cause once you've entered the evil empire, you'll just want more. iPad, iPhone 3, iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, AirMac. It never ends :-)

Re:It's true. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352431)

Clearly you didn't bother to read the article. You're delusional if you think Apple doesn't collect your data but then again most mac heads are. It starts by paying 3 times more than comparable products. I give Apple a lot of credit though, at least their marketing department is highly effective. Who else could make "designed in California (and built in chinese sweatshops)" so sexy and expensive?

Re:It's true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353179)

Designed in California [blogcdn.com]
Assembled in the USA [scribblelive.com]

Which other companies do that for any of their products?

So no "Profitability"? (2, Interesting)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | about a year ago | (#45352461)

Yeah, like Apple would forgo an opportunity to earn money, simply because they also earn money elsewhere. They may not be desperate to make money from the data they collect, but they would be stupid (in the "maximum shareholder value" frame of reference) not to benefit from it as much as possible.

Re:So no "Profitability"? (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#45352753)

Yeah, like Apple would forgo an opportunity to earn money, simply because they also earn money elsewhere.

They've done exactly that, many times. Not all profitable activities are profitable enough to be worth Apple's time and attention. That's why they gave up making the Xserve and Xserve RAID products, for example.

-jcr

Re:So no "Profitability"? (0)

sadboyzz (1190877) | about a year ago | (#45353589)

Aha, but there is a difference: collecting user data doesn't take any "time and attention", it's basically just pure "profit". In fact, for a company like Apple, I imagine it'd take enormous will power to resist the temptation to collect data on its users. If they're true to their words, kudos to them, but the business practice of Apple really doesn't give me any reason to trust them on that.

Re:So no "Profitability"? (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#45353669)

collecting user data doesn't take any "time and attention", it's basically just pure "profit".

You have no idea what you're talking about. Don't ever attempt to run a business.

-jcr

Re:So no "Profitability"? (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year ago | (#45352863)

True, but that's only part of the equation. If privacy is valuable to their customers, Apple will gain customers (and money) by not harvesting their data.

Besides, Google is far more experienced at data mining than Apple is likely to ever be, so rather than try to beat Google at their own game, it's probably wiser for Apple to play counterpoint here.

Re:So no "Profitability"? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#45353453)

they would be stupid (in the "maximum shareholder value" frame of reference) not to benefit from it as much as possible.

"Stupidity" would be to ignore there's a very real demographic who values privacy and will pay a premium to companies that respect that.

Long term value is not gained from harming or devaluing customers.

Re:It's true. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352681)

if you believe this you're really dumb. apple wants and collects personal information, statistics, app purchase and usage histories, itunes browsing and purchasing histories, safari usage and a hell of a lot more... they not be as obvious as a google or facebook in monetizing this data, yet. but they still collect it all the same.

Re:It's true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352943)

You Apple fanboys haven't seriously deluded yourselves into believing that Apple doesn't monetize your personal information in a similar fashion? Your "deal is done" alright, you've paid a premium for a product that's no better or worse than its alternatives on the false premise that one company protects your privacy over the other.

The "power users" on Slashdot have their heads so far up their own asses that the air is being cut off to their brains, that's the only way I can see an obvious troll about "parasites" from an Apple wanker could get modded insightful. That and the other accounts he mods himself up with.

iChat / iMessage have NSA PRISM attached (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#45353185)

They held out longer than some others, but Apple now cooperates in spying on their customers.

Re:iChat / iMessage have NSA PRISM attached (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#45353201)

iTunes--- I totally forgot about this! One of the biggest marketing engines in the world supposedly has "no interest" in collecting personal info?

Re:It's true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353319)

And what about developer connection tools and other services where Apple does collect data? Itunes, etc?
You gonna trust them when they say we "don't collect data", when they clearly have means to do so?

Re:It's true. (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year ago | (#45353497)

FTFA:

Apple gathers up about as much personal information on users as any other big tech company. The main difference is, it says it doesn't connect the dots. It may know everything about you, but it doesn't know you're you.

As to the last sentence of that: Sure and the cheque's in the mail. ... And

... Even if it does anonymize non-personal information, separate the sensitive life details you reveal to Siri or Safari from the company's user profile of you, and not associate your always-tracked device with your real identity, there's no question that personal user data (is a) big part of any technology company's business model these days. Even Apple.

Tell us your theory again. Mine is that Apple is a great marketing company. Really great. And that includes marketing its spin. You can believe Apple has your best interests at heart because you pay more. I just chose to believe you pay more. FWIW, my next computer is likely to be an Apple. I will not use Windows 8. But I don't buy into crap like 'you pay more for less intrusion into your privacy'. That's naive and/or self deceiving.

Re:It's true. (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year ago | (#45353803)

Good for you. I happily and willingly give my private information to Google and benefit from their free services. I win. They win. Everyone wins. What's not to like about this?

Buzzword bingo! (5, Funny)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45352149)

...in the emerging post-NSA new world order, the unwritten privacy-for-cool services agreement that drives the internet ecosystem is making netizens increasingly uneasy...

"emerging"
"post-"
"NSA"
"new world order"
"unwritten agreement"
"services"
"privacy"
"meaningless-hyphenation"
"drive"
"internet ecosystem"
"netizens"

Re:Buzzword bingo! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353141)

Could Daniel_Stuckey actually be Jon Katz? I'm having a Finkle and Einhorn moment...

iads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352151)

They advertise. Companies pay more for targeted ads which you can't offer if you don't use analytics.

Re:iads? (5, Informative)

grub (11606) | about a year ago | (#45352197)


On an iOS device go to Settings->Privacy->Advertising and there is a setting labelled "Limit Ad Tracking" which you can enable or disable.

I don't think Facebook or Google offer that.

Re:iads? (4, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#45352281)

Actually, Google does have that with their accounts. FaceBook, no, I don't think so.

Re:iads? (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about a year ago | (#45352229)

I hear you get that from unprotected interactions with strange connectors.

Re:iads? (-1, Offtopic)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45353237)

Fok u hash hole!

bull. shit. (4, Informative)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#45352155)

http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/153/apple-phones-home-too [red-sweater.com]
https://www.apple.com/privacy/ [apple.com]
When you share your content with family and friends using Apple products, send gift certificates and products, or invite others to join you on Apple forums, Apple may collect the information you provide about those people such as name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

When you create an Apple ID, register your products, apply for commercial credit, purchase a product, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Retail Store, or participate in an online survey, we may collect a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, and credit card information.

Re:bull. shit. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352167)

Right. Because it's non-standard practice to collect someone's fucking name when they're making a purchase with a credit card. What a fucking Google bitch you are.

Re:bull. shit. (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about a year ago | (#45352255)

Talking to a coward I realize but the thing is Apple by virtue of the Apple id has much more specific user info than probably anyone but Facebook. They make you login to get free apps and such so it isn't just your purchases it is every interaction in their store, what you chose to download onto your device etc. all tied to a real person. Facebook is potentially worse because they know more about you than what flavor of condoms you prefer (your friends, your conversations, friends of friends etc).

Re:bull. shit. (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year ago | (#45352477)

Talking to a coward I realize but the thing is Apple by virtue of the Apple id has much more specific user info than probably anyone but Facebook. They make you login to get free apps and such so it isn't just your purchases it is every interaction in their store, what you chose to download onto your device etc. all tied to a real person.

Whereas Google has, if you have a Google account, a bunch of information about what Web searches you do, for example. Apple does have a bunch of information about your interaction with them; whether they have more such information than, say, Google is another matter.

Re:bull. shit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352493)

Talking to a coward I realize

Your user name is ILongForDarkness. Every single "Anonymous Coward" is objectively superior to you and should be treated as such.

Re:bull. shit. (2)

Petersko (564140) | about a year ago | (#45352249)

You could read that as, "We're evil and we're collecting your information for nefarious purposes", or you could read it as, "We don't want to pull a 'google-wifi', so we'll cover our asses with a 'we may'".

Re:bull. shit. (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about a year ago | (#45352259)

Don't forget their history of things that you buy via iTunes. And don't forget that Apple "sells" that information by way of iAds.

So, no, Apple's business doesn't depend on getting personal information for marketing purposes. It's just a happy side benefit.

Re:bull. shit. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352265)

Holy. Shit. They have to collect your private information when you apply for credit.

Fuck, they must be Naazis.

Re:bull. shit. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352289)

Collecting name and contact information

compared to...

Making database of email contents, web browsing habits, search strings, chats, voice calls, social network, photos, etc, including "dark profiles" of non-"customers"

Yeah, totally the same thing.

Re: bull. shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352669)

They don't have all your data in iCloud?
They don't hold onto your Siri searches?
Your SMS messages to other iPhones don't go via Apple?

To say nothing about stuff we don't know about ...

Re: bull. shit. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353393)

I don't use, or store, anything in icloud. It's not a requirement.

SMS goes through your carrier. iMessage goes though apple.

Re:bull. shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352403)

Looks like I got beat to pointing out how useless your post is. If you even read it you'll see the article is from 2006. But congrats on the +4 Informative from the knee jerk mods until the more reasonable ones get here.

Re:bull. shit. (1)

Brulath (2765381) | about a year ago | (#45352455)

When you share your content with family and friends using Apple products, send gift certificates and products, or invite others to join you on Apple forums, Apple may collect the information you provide about those people such as name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

So when you send a product they may collect the address to send it to? Or if you invite someone to join a forum it may collect the email address with which to contact them? Absurd.

When you create an Apple ID, register your products, apply for commercial credit, purchase a product, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Retail Store, or participate in an online survey, we may collect a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, and credit card information.

So when you purchase something using a credit card, or add a credit card to an account, they might collect other information which credit card companies require in order to prove your identity (and make charge-backs less likely)? Inconceivable.

Clearly this information collection is not for the same reasons or in the same league as Google or Facebook's data trawling.

Re:bull. shit. (4, Insightful)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year ago | (#45352473)

When you share your content with family and friends using Apple products, send gift certificates and products, or invite others to join you on Apple forums, Apple may collect the information you provide about those people such as name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

One might reasonably expect that if you're having Apple send an e-mail message to somebody else (such as "here's a URL", "here's a picture", "join me on this forum", etc.), they would need to collect that person's e-mail address at minimum (and a name so that the From: line doesn't look quite so cheesy), and that if they're going to send someone a physical product, they would need to collect that person's name and mailing address at minimum. I don't know about the phone number, unless that might be used if you "send" them a product to be delivered to an Apple store rather than to their home and you specify that they should be sent a text message when the product arrives (which is an option they offer).

When you create an Apple ID, register your products, apply for commercial credit, purchase a product, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Retail Store, or participate in an online survey, we may collect a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, and credit card information.

At least when purchasing things, they'd need credit card information if you're purchasing stuff online. Most if not all sites where I've used my credit card want my mailing address (perhaps to make sure that credit card really belongs to the person at 111 Penny Lane, Anytown, USA), my name (perhaps to make sure that the credit card really belongs to Jane Doe), and some want the phone number (perhaps to call me if there's a problem).

So, yes, in some sense, their business, like many other businesses, requires that you provide them with some amount of personal data so that they can send you messages, bill your credit card, etc.. Apple's claim, for what it's worth, appears to be "the personal data is not of value to us for other purposes", e.g. "Safari doesn't keep track of where you go online so that we can send you e-mail about Apple products that our analysis of that data suggests you might like".

Re:bull. shit. (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#45352925)

Yeah, and? Unless they have actual magic at their disposal (as opposed to the way that they refer to some of their products as "magical"), I don't see how they can possibly deliver something to a recipient unless they collect at least some contact information, do you? If you sign into iTunes and send someone a gift certificate, Apple needs to know who you're sending it to and how they can be reached. Is this really a surprise? Is this really unexpected behavior or in any way deleterious to the privacy of the individuals involved?

And with that last paragraph, the information they're collecting seems to be minimal and directly applicable. How else are you supposed to purchase products online if not with a credit card? How are you supposed to register your product without providing some form of contact information? How are you supposed to create an online account without giving them your e-mail address? Note what they're not collecting: your social graph, how you use those purchases after you buy them, your, your browser signature, etc..

There's a big difference between collecting basic contact information and collecting deep social connections, usage histories, etc..

However, if we ever need that data (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | about a year ago | (#45352171)

We'll just purchase it from Google/Facebook since everyone's so keen on posting up everything they do in their lives everywhere.

Re:However, if we ever need that data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352189)

You say it like they don't know they're posting it. Newsflash: You can post stuff online and not give a shit who sees it.

Re: However, if we ever need that data (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352223)

I like that this is submitted anonymously.

Hmm (-1, Troll)

Andrio (2580551) | about a year ago | (#45352175)

When I set up our QA Apple devices, I remember not even being able to use them until I created an Apple account. And then I wasn't able to use the App store until I put a real credit card on file (even though I had no intention of buying any apps).

Re:Hmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352207)

This
There are some bullshit hoops you can go through to set up an iTunes account without a credit card, but if you take one misstep you're never given the option again and your account is worthless.

Re:Hmm (5, Informative)

singularity (2031) | about a year ago | (#45352283)

Where is the '-1, Factually Incorrect' mod when you need it?

1) Yes, all Apple devices now prompt for an AppleID when you first turn them on. There is a 'Skip' button that you apparently completely missed, though. It is not a hidden button.

2) Apparently you were unable to do a simple Google search to figure out how to create an iTunes Store account without a credit card. Apple has posted directions [apple.com] .

Or does reality not fit with the bad image you want to have of Apple?

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352339)

Those instructions are either out of date or just plain wrong. I just tried to go through those steps and when I get to step 11 (of 17!) the "none" option is not available. I can either cancel or enter a credit card number.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352445)

Wierd, none was there for me, and my account payment information shows as 'no information on file'

You can also creat an apple-id on the website. The linked article mentions all apple-id's are the same/shared. You can register for free with no payment info at the developer site:

https://developer.apple.com/register/index.action

Click 'create id' and it will take you to the appleid site for your country, here is a link to the US one that does not ask for payment info:

https://appleid.apple.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/MyAppleId.woa/wa/createAppleId?localang=en_US&appId=632&returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Fdeveloper.apple.com/register/completeRegistration.action

Re:Hmm (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | about a year ago | (#45352627)

I set up an AppleID for my mum a few months back with no creditcard attached. I used a giftcard to download a few bits of software for her and it all worked fine.

If only there was a way to tell Google to stop asking for a mobile number. I don't want to give it to them, and my parents don't have one at all (at it bugs my dad who then complains to me about it).

Re:Hmm (-1, Offtopic)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45353241)

Fok u all!

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352459)

Where is the '-1, Factually Incorrect' mod when you need it?

I don't know because I'd love to apply it to your post given that your information is way out of date and you haven't bothered to check.

Re:Hmm (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352497)

Where is the '-1, Factually Incorrect' mod when you need it?

1) Yes, all Apple devices now prompt for an AppleID when you first turn them on. There is a 'Skip' button that you apparently completely missed, though. It is not a hidden button.

When you hit "skip", it gives you a warning that you won't be able to use the App store. So you have to enter your information even to get free apps, even though they have "no interest in amassing personal information about [their] customers"

2) Apparently you were unable to do a simple Google search to figure out how to create an iTunes Store account without a credit card. Apple has posted directions [apple.com] .

True.

Notably, the first step in those directions is signing up for the App store. So you have to enter your information, even though they have "no interest in amassing personal information about [their] customers"

Having a workaround posted online somewhere seems less intuitive than having a simple "Would you like to link your credit card to this account? YES/NO" prompt during setup. It's almost as if they actually do want the private data they have "no interest in".

Or does reality not fit with the bad image you want to have of Apple?

They have "no interest" in the data. Their business doesn't "depend on" the data.
Why do they collect it anyway?

Seems to me they've given the other companies a decent excuse, while saying they themselves -don't- have an excuse.

Re:Hmm (1)

Guidii (686867) | about a year ago | (#45352537)

Note to author: Your link in step 2 requires an AppleID, which you said you didn't need in step 1.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352719)

Note to poster: those aren't steps. They're two separate points: (1) that an Apple ID is not necessary to use the device and (2) that a credit card is not necessary to use an Apple ID.

If you want to use an iTunes account, then yes, you'll have to create an account with Apple. Shocking, I know.

Re:Hmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352615)

Do a simple Google search? Like I'm going to tell THEM that I want a secret iTunes account.

Re:Hmm (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45352657)

People are refuting the facts you posted. Fact is, I have never created an Apple account before. Never. Following your link, I found that the directions contained in the link are in fact somewhat outdated. But - using that link, I found the information necessary to create a new account, using fictitious information, and NO CREDIT CARD NUMBER had to be submitted. As a result of testing the validity of your post, I now have an account with which I might download "stuff", without ever paying for anything. Hell - I'm gonna go poke around, and see if they have anything that I'm even interested in. Do they have free music? Guess I'll find out . . . .

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353247)

What you'll find out (unless it's changed) is that while you can *create* an account without a credit card, in order to use any of the services (download music, apps, etc) you need billing info of some sort, even if the stuff is free. However, this can be in the form of a gift certificate and doesn't need to be a credit card. You can even create accounts under fictitious names in countries other than the one you live in, as long as you have a gift certificate valid in that country to link to the account. Note: you can't buy a gift certificate for a different country from Apple (Amazon allows it). There are, however, ways around that by trusting your money to a third party for an international gift certificate.

Re:Hmm (-1, Offtopic)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45353253)

Fok u!!!!!

Apple Says Something Uninteresting (2)

hercludes (2935741) | about a year ago | (#45352179)

Paraphrased from within the link, "We have a lot of privacy information, we just don't connect it together." How flattering Apple, you know, this reminds me of (insert country here) that is collecting a ton of (insert commodity here). They don't plan to use it of course. They just like collecting it, and doing nothing interesting with it. No, nothing special all. Isn't that right, Apple? Or, should I say, Big BrApple?!?! (Terrible joke, I know)

Re:Apple Says Something Uninteresting (2)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year ago | (#45352521)

Paraphrased from within the link, "We have a lot of privacy information, we just don't connect it together." How flattering Apple, you know, this reminds me of (insert country here) that is collecting a ton of (insert commodity here). They don't plan to use it of course. They just like collecting it, and doing nothing interesting with it. No, nothing special all. Isn't that right, Apple?

No, it's not. They do things with it, such as:

  • using your credit card information to charge you when you make a purchase;
  • using your name and address to, I suspect, check whether it really is your credit card;
  • using your e-mail address to send you whatever messages you ask them to send;
  • using your friends' e-mail addresses and names to send them messages when you share pictures/URLs/etc. with them or ask them to join you on a forum;
  • using your friends' mailing addresses if you buy a gift for them and ask Apple to deliver it to them;

etc..

No, this doesn't say that they would never use it for other purposes, but, in the case of the stuff they're talking about, it's pretty much all stuff that they need in order to do something you ask them to do. They're basically saying "yes, some stuff our software and Web sites do require you to supply information, so we're telling that just in case you didn't realize that".

Re:Apple Says Something Uninteresting (1)

hercludes (2935741) | about a year ago | (#45352823)

Yeah, of course. It's still fun for me to poke fun at though, mostly because they take like to say, "No, no, we're not like the other guys. We do the same as the other people, but we're not like them." etc etc.

Even if Apple doesn't connect the dots, so what? (1)

pathological liar (659969) | about a year ago | (#45352215)

Things get more interesting with the second category: "non-personal" information, which is any user data that isn't associated with a specific individual. We're talking about details like customers' jobs, real-time location, habits, and the like. That data, the company says, is collected anonymously. Apple has free reign to share, sell, or store it however it damn pleases.

Just because Apple hasn't explicitly tied a name to the information doesn't mean it's anonymous. Even a fragment of the location data is enough to identify most people.

The point is no longer "What $COMPANY does with the data it collects", though that might be unsettling on its own, it's what the NSA (or any other data aggregator) can do with it.

Re:Even if Apple doesn't connect the dots, so what (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45352481)

Thanks to Snowden the world now understands what telcos, OS and hardware makers like to do.
Enjoy your computer games, surfing for sport, celeb news, tech news and music.
They sold you junk encryption so enjoy their junk OS and enjoy feeding back to that powerful tracking everyday.
Any real creativity can be done on other OS, well understood hardware and with quality emerging crypto.
Consume tracked digital culture in a random yet bland way :)
The other interesting aspect is now watching the flood of skilled sock puppets to reinvent their US bosses and US brands pasts.
They did not know in any way, the court "accounts impacts" tally, are so legal and very public too. The companies understand privacy.
The US gov somehow got deep into their infrastructure or just outside it but where never helped by the brands staff.

Re:Even if Apple doesn't connect the dots, so what (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45353263)

Prönnnnnnnnnn

Apple Account (2)

gimmeataco (2769727) | about a year ago | (#45352237)

Why do I need a Apple account to download free apps?

Re:Apple Account (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45352325)

Mostly for a security setting to only run trusted apps, easy updating globally, reviews. You might spend $5 or $200 over time after finding 'free' useful and well coded.
You can still get/run software from anywhere on the net: open source, shareware, rental, retail.

Re:Apple Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352793)

No, that's why you need a 'system' account.

You still haven't answered the question as to why I need an Apple account to download free apps.

Re:Apple Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353615)

There are many bits of FREE software out there that require you to register and thus create an account before you can download it.
Take LightZone as an example.
Go on, try it.
Now what is the difference here? not a lot as far as I can see.

AFAIK, the Apple Account links you and the IMEI of your phone (if it is a phone). I really don't know.
My Apple account has some credit card details attached. The Card expired years ago and the account it was attached to closed. If I ever decide to buy anything that costs $$$ then I'll do it through a gift card, easily purchasable at the supermarket checkin.

Having worked for YP I am far more comfortable with Apple's practices than Google/FB/Twitter/etc

Think of the Upside (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352293)

I'm completely OK with invasive privacy violations as long as we use that power to hunt down and imprison anyone who uses the term 'netizens'.

Re:Think of the Upside (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | about a year ago | (#45352613)

Friends of mine used to have a start up called Netizen back in the late '90s. It did UNIXy/Web development and training.

25 years ago (0)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#45352771)

I officially gave up on Apple(TM) products in 1988

Re:25 years ago (0)

Bob_Who (926234) | about a year ago | (#45353405)

I officially gave up after I washed my Ipod nano 512 MB that my sister gave me for the holidays. I was so proud of myself for hacking around the mandatory itunes crap I absolutely refused to keep on my pc.

And then laundry -

I suddenly realize you can't get inside or service the damn battery. WTF? That should be illegal. I hate that crap and I won't forgive them. I won't be fooled again...by Apple that is.

WHUT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353859)

You hate a company because you received one of their devices as a gift, and when you completely fucking broke it in a stupid way, it wasn't easy to take apart and uselessly futz with? Get off my lawn.

Re:25 years ago (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | about a year ago | (#45353557)

And no fucks were given.

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45352777)

They are required, by law, to NOT to report secret NSA 'requests'. That's why they are 'secret'. Nobody will ever really know how much information they hand over to the government because nobody is allowed to talk about it. All this reporting of request counts is nothing more than another distraction.

Just think about it.

I've got a Bridge in Arizona I want to sell you... (1, Interesting)

trims (10010) | about a year ago | (#45353021)

That statement from Apple doesn't even pass the laugh test, let alone a sniff test.

I live and work in Silicon Valley, and have a substantial number of friends and former co-workers that either are, or have recently, worked for Apple.

They're collecting data on you. Lots of it. And their "opt out" ways are about as effective as Google's at protecting your data.

iTunes play patterns, and purchase history. Apple Maps. Location data around phone usage. Location usage, period. Apple Store purchase patterns. Every time you visit an Apple Store. Purchase data from the on-line Apple App Store. The list goes on and on.\

Some of it anonymized, but most of it really isn't. Even if you "opt out", there's more than enough metadata being collected to identify you.

So, yeah, Apple's just lying through it's teeth.

Re:I've got a Bridge in Arizona I want to sell you (-1, Offtopic)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45353269)

Fok uuuuuuuuuuu

Does apple sell that info? (3, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | about a year ago | (#45353647)

Apple may collect that information, but as Apple said, their business does not depend on the sale of that info. Selling access to you is not core to their business, like FB and Google.

They'd be stupid if they didn't collect that information. You're a 5 digit ID - can't you tell the difference between "we don't care about selling your data" and "your data is what we sell?"

What's the product? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45353309)

If you pay for something, that something is the product.
If you do NOT pay for something, then YOU are the product.

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