The data breach scandal of Cambridge Analytica has shaken the world. The political advertising firm illegally obtained the data of over 50 million Facebook users of the U.S. illegally. This has issued an alert about the data utilization of users. Users allowed access to their data to social networking companies and smartphone manufacturers without knowledge of how much data these companies are accessing and how they are using it. But the recent data breach scandals have awakened users and alerted them about thinking twice about handing over their data. Moreover, they need to know how much information the companies hold about them before giving permission to use it if they want to. Now, Apple users will be able to see what information Apple has on them. The only condition is they should be residing in countries of European Union (EU). The company has launched new Data and Privacy website to enable users download all the information the company has on them.
The launch of website was first reported by 9to5Mac. Apple users from EU can download all the information associated with their account including App Store activity, Apple ID info, AppleCare history, data stored in iCloud, and others. All the data related to Apple ID can be acquired through a request for details such as sign-in records, data records including contacts, notes, calendars, reminders, photos, and documents. The tech giant has also been storing data such as usage statistics of Apple Music and Game Center along with AppleCare support history.
Depending upon the data requested, Apple would take as long as two weeks to assemble the data. Then it will send a notification to a user that data is ready to be viewed. The company outlined that the data will be deleted automatically after two weeks. The size of data to be downloaded can be selected by users. It may be as high as 25GB or can be split into chunks. It will be made available in standard formats, so it will be easily stored and accessed. In addition, users get an option to correct the data, deactivate their account, and delete the entire information held by the company to comply with GDPR.
Deactivation of account implies that the company will halt processing of any data related to the Apple ID. The user cannot access any store purchases from iBooks, iTunes, or the App Store. Moreover, users cannot use iCloud services like FaceTime or access any iCloud data. The company will verify the requests for prevention of abuse. The information is not deleted when an account is deactivated. It will not access the data itself. Users can reactivate the account. On the other hand, permanent deletion is not a reversible process. Once this action is initiated, there will be no reversal. The user is cutoff from the Apple connected world.
As Apple has always taken a powerful stance on privacy, there is no surprise with this step taken to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations, which will be effective from May 25. The GDPR has set new rules for tech firms on how they use, manage, and share the personal data of users. This service will be available in EU countries along with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. However, Apple highlighted that it will roll out the service across the rest of the world by the end of this year.