We Examine Apple iTunes’ Privacy Policy. Do You Agree With The Rating Given?

Presearch Privacy Reviews is a series dedicated to reviewing the privacy of all the biggest tech companies. We hope to give you the information you need to enhance your own privacy and make educated decisions that companies would rather you avoid.

iTunes is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world to play, download and organize their music and video files. Announced January 2001, it has become a household name.

Presearch privacy advisor Dylan Curran has combed through their privacy policy and pulled out the bits that need to be examined closely to ensure you have the full picture when it comes to how iTunes handles your data.

“Apple has generally come out in favour of privacy,” Curran states. “And hasn’t been involved in any major data breaches to date. As the company is not reliant on personalized advertising for their massive revenue, it’s easy to see why they would respect user information.”

WHAT PERSONAL INFORMATION WE COLLECT

Curran goes through the first section of the Apple privacy policy we will be examining today. “Apple collects the conventional information you’d expect when creating an account or participating in their services, such as:”

‘your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, device identifiers, IP address, location information and credit card information.’

Apple uses this information to:

‘help us create, develop, operate, deliver, and improve our products, services, content and advertising, and for loss prevention and anti-fraud purposes. Where we use your information for anti-fraud purposes, it arises from the conduct of an online transaction with us. We limit our uses of data for anti-fraud purposes to those which are strictly necessary and within our assessed legitimate interests to protect our customers and our services.’

This first part of their privacy policy does not seem to phase Curran. “The information they collect is standard enough, as are their uses. The statement of anti-fraud purposes is interesting, and was initially alarming.” He continues. “After some research, it seems Apple gives your device a ‘credibility rating’ of sorts, verifying that you actually are who you say you are. While this can violate privacy to some degree, and I’m never a fan of companies using anti-criminal reasons as an excuse to collect information, Apple does seem to actually minimize the instances they can use your data for these purposes.”

COLLECTION AND USE OF NON-PERSONAL INFORMATION

The second section brings to light what type of information Apple collects and what they do with it. Curran tell us that Apple will:

‘collect data in a form that does not, on its own, permit direct association with any specific individual’.

The privacy policy continues on with a few more details:

‘occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, referrer URL, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used’.

‘We may collect information regarding customer activities on our website or other Apple services. This information is aggregated and used to help us provide more useful information to our customers and to understand which parts of our website, products, and services are of most interest.’

‘We may collect and store details of how you use our services, including search queries. This information may be used to improve the relevancy of results provided by our services, expect in limited instances to ensure quality of our services over the Internet, such information will not be associated with your IP address.’

“It’s great to see Apple does collect a lot of information,” Curran explains. “But does not associate it with your identity. This means they can use the aggregated information as they please, as non-personal information is not treated the same as identifiable information under privacy laws.”

It’s comforting to hear that Apple seems to treat privacy laws with respect.

Curran continues, “They even say ‘if we do combine non-personal information with personal information, the combined information will be treated as personal information for as long as it remains combined.’ Essentially, Apple may collect plenty of information about you, but it cannot be used alongside your identity, and if it is, they have to ask for your explicit consent.”

THE VERDICT

“That was pretty much the only things of importance I could find on the Apple privacy policy, which is actually a good thing.” Curran is very thorough when it comes to examining privacy policies, and if he didn’t find anything to be worried about, that should make you happy.

“Apple doesn’t seem to go outside of the conventional data collection practices most companies participate in, that being said they still collect a lot of information regardless of how practical they are. For that reason, I give them a 3/5 star rating. That isn’t a bad or a good score, just know they do collect quite a lot of data, and it’s entirely up to your personal discretion whether you want to use an Apple device.”

You can watch the video in full below:

Presearch Privacy Review #10: iTunes

PRESEARCH

Presearch is a decentralized search framework that doesn’t collect your personal information. They provide access to over 80 different search providers (including iTunes) while allowing you to earn Presearch rewards just for searching. Even if you don’t care that Presearch doesn’t collect your data, they offer the benefits of all the best search engines combined for fast and convenient results. Go to Presearch.org and start earning rewards today.

Presearch is building a decentralized search engine — visit www.presearch.io or https://twitter.com/presearchnews for more info