Apple responds to personal data request with 9MB file: The personal data archives from Facebook and Google were 881MB and 243MB respectively

“Following Facebook’s acknowledgement that it had let a political ad targeting firm scrape the personal data of 87 million users, I rushed to see what kind of personal data the social network and Google had gathered on me. Both had more information, reaching back longer, than I had envisioned.,” Jefferson Graham reports for USA Today. “So Apple was next. I use an iPhone, iPad and two Mac computers, and Apple also offers data downloads in the privacy section of its website. It’s hard to find, and once you do make the connection, you can expect a hefty wait to get the results.”

“But don’t expect to stay up all night reading what Apple has on you,” Graham reports. “The zip file I eventually received from Apple was tiny, only 9 megabytes, compared to 243 MB from Google and 881 MB from Facebook. And there’s not much there, because Apple says the information is primarily kept on your device, not its servers. The one sentence highlight: a list of my downloads, purchases and repairs, but not my search histories through the Siri personal assistant or the Safari browser.”

That’s “very different from what I got from competitors Facebook and Google, which both track our moves, likes and queries in order to sell targeted advertising to sponsors,” Graham reports. “Apple makes a big deal about its different approach to privacy on the company website, and it paints quite an effective selling proposition for buying an iPhone vs. a Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Think Different.

The more people are educated about unchecked data collection and the more who value their privacy, the better Apple’s sales will be. Today, it’s literally Apple against the world.MacDailyNews, July 14, 2017

People who value privacy and security use Apple products.MacDailyNews, September 12, 2015

Apple should be running a massive ad campaign that clearly explains how they stand apart from virtually every other major Silicon Valley company when it come to privacy and monetizing users. Every time there is a breach or an abuse at Facebook, Google, etc. Apple should be ready to pound their privacy message into the general public’s exceedingly thick collective skull.MacDailyNews, April 10, 2018

Android’s trust problem isn’t getting better – April 13, 2018
Apple CEO Cook: ‘Privacy to us is a human right… a civil liberty’ – April 10, 2018
Should Apple create a social network that doesn’t abuse, but protects user privacy? – April 9, 2018
Apple co-founder Woz quits Facebook – April 9, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg admits Facebook scans the contents of all private Messenger texts – April 4, 2018
Facebook to warn 87 million users that their data ‘may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica’ – April 4, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg and the never-ending stench of Facebook – April 2, 2018
Apple may be the biggest winner from Facebook’s data scandal – April 2, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg blasts Apple CEO Cook’s criticism of Facebook as ‘extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth’ – April 2, 2018
Apple CEO Cook: Facebook should have self-regulated, but it’s too late for that now – March 28, 2018
U.S. FTC will investigate Facebook over privacy or lack thereof – March 26, 2018
Apple CEO Cook calls for more data oversight, ‘well-crafted regulation’ after Facebook debacle – March 26, 2018
Facebook has been collecting call history and SMS data from Android devices for years; Apple iOS devices unaffected – March 25, 2018
Apple CEO Cook ramps up pressure on Facebook, calls for more regulations on data privacy – March 24, 2018
Steve Jobs tried to warn Mark Zuckerberg about privacy in 2010 – March 23, 2018
Facebook has gotten too big, too powerful, too influential for Mark Zuckerberg to handle – March 23, 2018
How to block Facebook completely from your Mac – March 22, 2018
How Facebook made it impossible to delete Facebook – March 22, 2018
What to expect from Facebook’s Zuckerberg if he testifies before Congress – March 21, 2018
Why Facebook’s blatant disregard for users’ privacy could be very good for Apple – March 21, 2018
Facebook’s surveillance machine – March 21, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg AWOL from Facebook’s damage control session – March 20, 2018
U.S. FTC reportedly probing Facebook’s abuse of personal data as UK summons Zuckerberg for questioning – March 20, 2018
Yet another Facebook debacle means it’s time for an Apple social network – March 19, 2018
The problem isn’t Cambridge Analytica: It’s Facebook – March 19, 2018
Apple: Privacy is a fundamental right – September 27, 2017


  1. The sad part is, if it was not Google and Facebook, it would have been someone else doing it. Google and Facebook says they provide free service, but these companies then recoup their money via ads and selling personal data. Any website that we visit that has google ads all over the page, we are substituting Android. This is a problem that is not going away any time soon.

    1. There are, thankfully, plenty of ways to keep the surveillance as profit based companies (which in the USA now includes every ISP) off our backs. They include a variety of browser extensions/add-ons, cookie, history and cache control build into browsers, third party cookie, history and cache control apps, VPNs, DNSCrypt, HTTPS and non-logged/encrypted communication apps.

      Getting all of this to work for users and dealing with/troubleshooting the various nefarious strategies to stop them by the usual suspects has a bumpy and occasionally steep learning curve. It’s all a bother to Granny, who is sadly the prime victim in these crimes against privacy.

        1. Oh and of course both Farcebook and Goggle provide settings within their software for at least minimizing (somewhat) their invasion of our privacy. I’ve used these settings to my advantage (imagine that!) such that neither company have much about anything about me, as demonstrated when I ask to see their surveillance data about me.

      1. Derek, I think TheConfuzed1 means Apple should be marketing their privacy position, as MDN has said.

        It’s tricky, though — Apple is (and needs to be) partnered with these companies. Running what could be perceived as attack ads could damage their relationships. And with outside proxies like MDN essentially doing this for them, it not really necessary.

        1. THANK YOU. Misperception cleared. Apology offered!

          I believe Apple has well established their position in direct contrast to FarceBook and Goggle. It might be a good idea to put forth the concept in advertising. But as you point out PC Apologist, sticking the knife in and twisting it is probably not a wise idea. Simply stating the general concept that “Apple protects your right to privacy” (established in more than a few countries) would be a good idea.

          And as ever, I’m struck by the contrast between the USA and China: Criminal Nation. China has no such right to privacy. Loud dissonance reverberates at Apple in this respect.

  2. 9 MB is 9MB too much. How many hundred pages does that total?

    We all know FaceScam and GoogleSpy are 100% advertising firms datamining everything you do. But Apple collects data too. A lot of it. How many of you knew that Apple had ~9 MB of personal data on you???

    1. I knew that Apple has 9 MB of information related to me.

      When I download a song or app from iTunes that I previously purchased, I don’t have to pay for it again because Apple keeps a record of my downloads.

      Would you prefer to pay again each time for each device?

    2. Apple’s probably got more than that on me, I’ve been purchasing music on iTunes before they went subscription.

      If you want to do ANYthing ANYwhere, you’re going to have to share some information. Mainly because no one is going to trust that you’re Mike. Want to buy something on Apple, gotta provide your credit card, expiration date and billing address and shipping address. Want Amazon to ship something to you? Better give them your address. Want to get money out of an ATM? If it’s not your bank, you’ll have to have enough information in the system for this bank to trust that that bank trusts that you have the money equal to the amount you’re attempting to withdraw.

      Now that I think about it, all those are conveniences, not requirements. If you’re doing business with Apple or Amazon, you’re going to have to provide them some record of trust and they’re going to keep that around because customers don’t like proving who they are over and over again.. However, if you’re cash only, I think you MIGHT still be able to make it in the world. It’s just going to be inconvenient and you’ll have to have cash on you all the time…

  3. “It took eight days for my data to arrive from Apple, from a European office that is handling the privacy requests. After making the request, the iPhone maker first asked for my street address, phone number, the serial number of the iPhone, and other personal information before releasing it. This compares to Google and Facebook’s data dump. They asked no questions, and the results arrived swiftly—Facebook within minutes, and Google within hours.”

    Nice writeup on the experience the author had in retrieving personal info from each of the 3 companies. The last sentence however neglects to say that Apple data requests are via a public webpage and verification of the individual is done with more back and forth. Google and FB personal data requests required you to be logged in to the service which may require two-factor authentication and are automated which probably explains the shorter time in contrast to Apple which seems more human-hands on.

    Sounds to me that it may be easier to perform a social hack on Apple than FB or Google when retrieving personal info.

    1. “may be easier to perform a social hack”
      Yes, and in the TREASURE trove of information you got on me from Apple, you’d find out I purchased a copy of Joe Dirt as a digital download. Not the websites I visit, not the things I search for, not the ads I’ve seen. Just my poor taste in media. Oh, and there was that time I had a fascination with fart apps, but.. c’mon, EVERYONE was doing it!

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