Apple is letting customers download a copy of all the data it has on them. It actually allowed European users to do this earlier this year after the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law went into effect.
This feature is now expanding to the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Apple hasn’t made a big announcement about the change, simply updating its privacy website with the tool. There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the kind of information brands like Google and Facebook have on individuals, so the move should help clarify what kind of data the iPhone maker collects.
What Apple Stores About You
Apple’s privacy page says it stores stuff like Apple ID account details and sign-in records, iCloud data such as contacts and emails, App usage related to Game Center and Apple Music, records of App Store purchases and browsing history, and stats related to marketing communications and preferences. It’s a lot, but it’s not as much as one might assume.
To have a look for yourself, log into this portal with your Apple ID and password. It might ask you for your two-factor authentication code if you’ve set it up. Once you’re in, click on “Obtain a copy of your data” and choose which category you want information on or just tap “Select all.” You can either get it all at once or split up into smaller downloads.
After you’ve made up your mind, Apple will again check to see if it’s really you by asking you questions. If you pass, it might take up to 7 days for your data to be ready. You’ll receive a notification when it’s available. It’ll be delivered in the form of a zip file. You have two weeks to download it. If you don’t, you’ll have to send another request.
If you’re looking for some specific information and it isn’t there, Apple says it’s either in a form which is not personally identifiable or it’s end-to-end encrypted. It’s also possible that the company doesn’t store it at all or only kept it around for a short period of time in its servers.
If you can’t see the “Obtain a copy of your data” option, then the feature hasn’t reached your country yet. Apple says it’s going to expand availability to more nations in the coming months.