Apple to users: Here’s why our data gathering doesn’t invade your privacy

“Apple has added a new post to its Machine Learning Journal that explains how it’s using differential privacy to protect users, even when collecting very sensitive data such as keystrokes and the sites users visit,” Liam Tung reports for ZDNet.

“This type of data collection occurs when users opt in to share usage analytics from macOS or iOS, allowing Apple to collect ‘privatized records,'” Tung reports. “Apple introduced differential privacy in iOS 10 in support of new data collection aimed at improving QuickType, emoji suggestions, Spotlight suggestions, and media playback features in Safari. The system works on the basis that statistical noise can be added to data on the device before it’s shared with Apple.”

Tung reports, “It says its approach to differential privacy on the device allows data to be ‘randomized before being sent from the device, so the server never sees or receives raw data.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If it’s not an iPhone or a Mac, then it’s an inferior, insecure, derivative, privacy-trampling POS.

SEE ALSO:
Apple begins mining browsing data in Safari via differential privacy – September 26, 2017
Apple explains how it’s making Siri smarter without endangering user privacy – September 11, 2017
Apple’s cutting-edge ‘differential privacy’ is opt-in – June 24, 2016
Apple’s cutting-edge ‘differential privacy’ offers unique option for technology users – June 20, 2016
Apple’s use of cutting-edge tech will peek at user habits without violating privacy – June 16, 2016
Apple unveils iOS 10, the mother of all iOS releases – June 13, 2016
Apple previews major update with macOS Sierra – June 13, 2016

33 Comments

        1. To qualify as a “debacle,” wouldn’t there have to be some negative consequences? Did anyone actually get harmed by the software bug in question. If not (and I have not heard of such an instance), it wasn’t a debacle. It was a flaw, and oversight.

          Damn trolls attempting to blow everything out of proportion. The world is not binary and reason exists between the extremes. You are a 5-sigma low outlier on the Gaussian distribution of intelligence, KK.

          P.S. You cannot be sure that anything is “safe.” Life is a risk. That is part of what makes it interesting.

  1. There are the privacy issues, which differential privacy is supposed to address by not allowing the data to be pinpointed to an individual. Fine.

    What this doesn’t change in any way, unless contributing is optional, is that each user is a contributor of information to Apple. This further enriches Apple beyond what the users have already paid.

    Google, correctly, gets criticized by the statement…”If the product is free, you are the product”. At least that defines what you are paying with. Here you are both paying money AND (collectively) information. Double dipping…

      1. Maybe also read up on differential privacy. You don’t need to worry about Apple when it comes to your data. I don’t mind sharing data via differential privacy, all it is doing is helping Apple improve its products and services. That’s good for users. You can opt out if you like, it’s easy.

          1. You’re only hurting yourself. The more people that contribute the more Apple can learn what its users need. I bet Apple’s move towards being more open is partially driven by user data. Who knows? If more people like you contribute data that could move Apple more towards how you like to use iOS.

            1. Oh my you’ve got a problem with Apple don’t you? If they’re going the complete opposite way you would like things to be, why do you buy anything from Apple? It’s not like you don’t have other choices. Do you enjoy punching yourself in the face? I hate Apple products and services so I’ll buy some of those! I hate these! I know, I’ll buy another one! Yikes.

            2. What does Microsoft have to do with anything? Do you hate Microsoft products but also use them? Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Why do you buy products you hate that don’t work in the way you want them to work? Wouldn’t it make more sense for you to buy products you like?

            3. I agree with you, Differential. But applecynic has chosen not to participate. The fact that his rationale is illogical and somewhat inconsistent is irrelevant.

              At least Apple is open about its user data activities and provides user control over it. In many cases, people are just relinquishing their privacy rights away without even knowing it. If you use Google products, then your life is an open book to anyone with the money to purchase the data, or the means to steal it.

            4. What is illogical about getting paid for value contributed? Why should the users participate in data collection benefiting Apple’s marketing, product development and quality control functions without a perk? Let them do their own work.

  2. I would rather that nobody other data other than those who write apps and just for the purpose of making them better. To all who data mine for the purpose of advertising, spamming or resale to others for ads I have two words: Fuck You. Actually I have a couple more: Fuck You Very Much.

  3. “..even when collecting very sensitive data such as keystrokes and the sites users visit..”

    “…low-flow shower heads…”

    I don’t like the sound of either of those.

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        CNN reports Funny Boy Franken wants to stay senator just a little longer so he can pass his signature bill, changing Minnesota from The Gopher State to The Grope’her State.

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        1. Has your pussy grabber hero been mature enough to truthfully respond to his many victims?

          You and your partisan ilk may not care about abuse but normal sane people do. How many harassment suits has Trump got under his belt so far?

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