Apple might be tracking how you use your iPhone, even if you explicitly told it not to
Choosing to 'disable the sharing of Device Analytics altogether' doesn't stop Apple collecting your data
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Apple privacy concerns
🕵️ An independent test has suggested Apple is collecting users’ data, even when they opt out of analytics sharing
🔎 Two security researchers found that disabling analytics sharing had no effect on Apple’s data collection
😨 The tracking of users’ data and usage habits remained the same
📁 Apple is collecting information such as how you use the App Store, including every tap you make
Apple may be collecting your data and tracking your usage habits, even if you explicitly told it not to.
Two researchers from the software company Mysk have discovered that several iPhone apps – such as the App Store, Apple TV, Apple Music, and Stocks – are still harvesting users’ information, even if they chose to “disable the sharing of Device Analytics altogether” (thanks, Gizmodo).
Mysk found that other privacy settings had no discernable effect on how Apple was collecting data, which raises obvious privacy concerns for those who don’t want to be tracked by the company.
The data that the App Store, in particular, is monitoring is rather frightening. Mysk says that Apple tracks everything you do in real-time, including which apps you searched, and what you tapped on, and notes the type of iPhone you’re using in detail – the display resolution of the device, the language of your keyboard, and more.
“Opting out or switching the personalization options off did not reduce the amount of detailed analytics that the app was sending,” Mysk told Gizmodo. “I switched all the possible options off, namely personalized ads, personalized recommendations, and sharing usage data and analytics.”
Gizmodo asked Mysk to examine how the Stocks app monitors data, and the company found that Apple could see the list of watched stocks, the names of stocks you viewed, and the time stamps of when you interacted with the app. The information was apparently sent to a web address labeled analytics (https://stocks-analytics-events.apple.com/analyticseventsv2/async).
The same tracking concerns were present on an iPhone iOS 16, which may worry those who wish to keep their behavior private, especially if they have consciously opted out of sharing any data with Apple. The video from Mysk below explains how the App Store is tracking your data in more detail.
Apple hasn’t responded to the investigation but has prided itself on its strict privacy measures in the past, going as far as to create standalone adverts that said “Privacy. That’s iPhone.”
It appears that the situation is a little more complex than Apple may want to admit, but if a user is under the impression they’re not sharing data with a company when actually they are, that’s a serious problem.
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