The shocking truth about Apple’s iOS 9’s Proactive intelligence

“Working alongside Siri, Apple’s iOS 9 flagship feature Proactive tries to work out what you want to do next,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “It then tries to support and help you do what you want to do.”

“As the software learns your habits, it will offer you shortcuts to do new things; third-party apps will also offer Proactive tools as developers build support for the feature into their software,” Evans writes. “In the future, Proactive will also share other information, upcoming flights, local weather, traffic warnings, and other relevant items of information – all it needs to do is (1) have features enabled and (2) learn about you.”

Evans asks, “Isn’t it shocking that Proactive isn’t interested in collecting and selling data about what you do?”

Muchd more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We much prefer Apple’s approach to Google’s with Google Now and just about every other data-mining product offered by Google.

Apple issues iPhone manifesto; blasts Android’s lack of updates, lack of privacy, rampant malware – August 10, 2015
Edward Snowden supports Apple’s stance on customer privacy – June 17, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
Apple’s Tim Cook warns of ‘dire consequences’ of sacrificing privacy for security – February 13, 2015
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy – September 18, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Yes, Apple’s approach is much safer and actually private.

    However, true privacy now possible only without archiving data to iCloud as it is encrypted only with one ket — your AppleID, which is known to Apple (so you could recover password) and hence can be subject to the nonsensical bulk surveillance secret court orders.

    To avoid that, you can set up backups not to iCloud, but to your Macintosh (or Windows). Or you can even drop backups altogether, if you have two iOS devices that are in synchronization. Most important things such as contacts, messages, notes, and so on will be always up to date on both devices, and this data is never stored on Apple’s sites.

    The issue with those two methods is that if you will lose either your Macintosh (Windows PC) or second iOS device, too, your data will be lost forever.

    The trick to deal with that is to arrange folder with your local archive to be encrypted and regularly uploaded to something like iCloud Drive.

    It may sound scary, but after setting it up you will get reliability of cloud storage with privacy of your data, because Apple will not have password/key/hash for your additional encryption.

    1. I use and backup a password protected, encrypted sparse bundle disk image for all my private files.

      Using a sparse bundle (vs sparse disk) is great because it isn’t one big file. Therefore, only part of the bundle has to be backed up as you change stuff in the image. That means you can even use one of the cruddy cloud services that offer no client-side encryption, such as Dropbox. Sparse bundles offer superior AES 256bit encryption available as well.

      Here’s Apple’s How To. But if you can, use sparse bundle image instead of ‘sparse disk image’.

      How to create a password-protected (encrypted) disk image

  2. How about just giving some of the apps some prefs? I’d like Maps to have a pref to not automatically zoom into my location when you first open. Much easier to see my commute traffic issues if it would just open with last view… Small things, but helpful

  3. The Jury is out on this one, the future is an odd place were things you have not thought off seemingly become common place and De Rigueur just like that!

    What do you know, todays consumerism could be tomorrows pandemic to be taught in schools lest we (our future selves) forget!

  4. How could you not click on a story that start with “The shocking truth” 🙂

    Apple as earned their reputation of trust when it comes to collecting your information.
    BTW – I would add Amazon to the Google list of companies I do not to be spying on me.

    1. Adding to that trust, you know Apple will be inspecting 3rd party IOS apps to make sure the data their app collects is not sent back to the app maker.
      Again, I trust Apple.

      1. Trust is a self reassuring assertion until it is proven wrong. At that point, what ever act that has proven our self reassurance wrong, can then be declared as untrustworthy.

  5. Did anyone notice McAfee the other day lumping Apple into the same boat as Android (he said it more than once in his interview on security) – claiming Apple also collects and sells your information that that is their business, just like Android. A bald-faced lie. His main point that software companies, if they really want to deal with security need to start over with a hacker sitting next to the programmer, reviewing every line of code – is likely true (likely impossible at this point, but true). The complexity of the world’s operating systems make it nearly impossible to be aware of, let along plug every hole. The worst are not the zero day threats that get exposed – how many are there that the hackers just use, instead of expose? A lot likely want the credit for discovering the exploits – ego working in our favour at least.

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