How To Download all the Data Apple Collects about you

Apple is making it easier for its users to download their data the company has collected about them so far. On Wednesday, Apple just launched a new Data and Privacy website that allows you to download everything that the company knows about you, from Apple ID info, device info, App Store activity, AppleCare history, your online shopping habits to all of your data stored in its iCloud. A similar feature was recently offered by Facebook, enabling its users to download all of their data, not only what they have posted, but also information like facial recognition and location data, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

How to Download Your Data

Here’s what Apple knows about you

Apple Data

Apple basically has a list of every single app, song, book, music video and in-app purchase you made on your Apple devices dating all the way back to 2010. There’s also a log of every time those apps were updated.

It also knows all of the songs you ever stored in iTunes Match, the service that lets you keep a cloud copy of your personal music files wherever you go.

There’s even a copy of every product that you purchased from Apple,  including serial numbers for all of those products. Apple also has a log of every customer support query you ever made, ranging from cracked screens to questions about iPhone activation. When repairs were made, it has a log of what was damaged and serial numbers for the old and replacement parts that were added.

Aside from purchases, Apple doesn’t seem to know much else. The company’s privacy response team, which you need to contact in order to download the file, explains why:

“We have not included information contained within your account, if any, such as calendar contents, email contents, iTunes content etc. If you use iCloud you will note that we have extremely short retention periods for how long we store such data and we have provided all data that was available to us at the time at which we processed your request on our systems. I would also like to highlight the following from our message on Customer Privacy at http://www.apple.com/apples-commitment-to-customer-privacy: For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.

Which data you’re able to download

  • App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store and Apple Music activity
  • Apple ID account and device information
  • Apple Online Store and Retail Store activity
  • AppleCare support history, repair requests and more
  • Game Center activity
  • iCloud Bookmarks and Reading List
  • iCloud Calendars and Reminders
  • iCloud Contacts
  • iCloud Notes
  • Maps Report an Issue
  • Marketing subscriptions, downloads, and other activity
  • Other data
  • iCloud Drive files and documents
  • iCloud Mail
  • iCloud Photos

Download your data

You can download all your data with a few simple clicks on the privacy portal.

  • Log in to privacy.apple.com on your Mac, PC, or iPad.
  • Select the Get started link under the “Obtain a copy of your data” heading in Manage your data.
  • You can press ‘Select All‘ to download everything or tick the boxes of the data categories you want to download. iCloud data are provided into a separate list as this data may be large and can take a long time to download.
  • Apple splits up the data into chunks, which ranges from 1 GB up to a maximum of 25 GB, letting you select your preferred maximum file size. Select a size and hit ‘Continue.’

Your download is now in progress, and Apple will send you an email when the files are available to download, which can take up to a week. Your downloaded data is then automatically deleted after 2 weeks.

Conclusions

Apple stores information about you (shocking isn’t it?!). It’s mostly related to the content you’re consuming or products you’re buying, including apps, music and books. There isn’t anything here that shows logs of your private messages, specific locations, ads you clicked or copies of your photos, which are some of the things that Google and Facebook have.

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