Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 29 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals

Tag: privacy

Josh Centers 28 comments

Apple Allegedly Dropped Full iCloud Backup Encryption under FBI Pressure

Reuters is reporting that Apple dropped plans to offer a stronger encryption option for iCloud backups under pressure from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Josh Centers 9 comments

Geoffrey Fowler Challenges Apple’s Privacy Stance

Apple claims to be a guardian of consumer privacy, but the company does little to regulate what third-party iPhone apps do with the data they collect. The Washington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler asks if Apple could do more to protect our privacy.

Adam Engst 10 comments

The New York Times Reveals How Completely Our Every Move Is Tracked

Forget Big Brother. We have much more to worry about from the numerous “Tiny Brother” location data companies that track our every movement via software embedded in smartphone apps.

Josh Centers No comments

Apple’s Explanation for Unexpected iPhone 11 Location Requests

The iPhone 11 models are regularly gathering location data, even when location access is turned off for all apps and services. Why? Security researcher Brian Krebs has received answers from Apple, but they’re not entirely satisfactory.

Josh Centers No comments

Apple’s Revised Privacy Page Provides More Per-App Detail

Apple has updated its privacy page with explanations of the specific privacy measures taken in its most popular apps, but questionable partnerships and sloppy programming hurt the company’s privacy-focused image.

Josh Centers 6 comments

Fearing Shooters, Schools Put Kids under Surveillance

In the wake of mass shootings in the United States, schools are spending millions on surveillance systems to find out what their students are thinking and saying. The legitimate benefits come with troubling questions of privacy.

Josh Centers 7 comments

Apple Announces Siri Privacy Reforms

After a whistleblower revealed that Apple contractors were listening in on Siri conversations, Apple shut down the program and promised improvements. Here they are.

Josh Centers 3 comments

Robocall Blockers Caught Sending User Information to Third Parties

A security researcher has discovered that many popular iOS robocall-blocking apps share your data with third parties, often in violation of App Store guidelines.

Adam Engst 31 comments

Why Can’t Users Teach Siri about Its Mistakes?

Apple took well-deserved flak in the press for having contractors listen to Siri conversations—and inadvertent initiations where people didn’t know they were being recorded. But Adam Engst suggests that we users should instead teach Siri about its mistakes.

Josh Centers 4 comments

Apple Suspends Siri’s “Response Grading” Eavesdropping

Apple has temporarily suspended its Siri “response grading” program that had contractors listen in on Siri recordings. That’s good, but it’s unfortunate that it took media coverage to push the company to change its practices.

Josh Centers 5 comments

Apple Workers May Be Listening to Your Siri Conversations

Apple has increasingly used its stance on privacy as a selling point, but The Guardian has revealed that, like Amazon, Apple lets contractors listen in on conversations held while Siri is active. The audio may be difficult or impossible to trace back to the individuals who are speaking, but Apple should still find a better way to improve Siri.

Josh Centers 4 comments

Most “Free” VPN Apps Secretly Owned by China

Lots of people trust Virtual Private Network apps to protect their privacy, but they seldom ask who made them—an investigation by Top10VPN.com suggests that they should.

Rich Mogull 12 comments

Apple Flexes Its Privacy Muscles

At WWDC 2019, Apple made numerous announcements that show both how important the company believes privacy to be and how far it’s willing to go to encourage privacy-protecting technologies in its own products. But these efforts will face challenges from all sides.

Adam Engst 5 comments

iOS App Trackers Are Watching You

Investigative journalist Geoffrey Fowler of the Washington Post has discovered that numerous iOS apps include trackers that constantly send information about you back to data brokers.

Josh Centers 15 comments

The Tragic Death of “Do Not Track”

Over at Fast Company, Glenn Fleishman documents the rise and fall of the Do Not Track browser setting, a well-intentioned but ultimately doomed effort to make privacy easy for users.