7

The issue of digital privacy is becoming more prevalent in the minds of many smartphone and social media users, especially after controversies such as the recent Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal.

To their credit, Google and Facebook each offer a service allowing their users to download all the information they hold about them.

Does Apple offer its users the same service? If so, how do users go about obtaining that information?

9

Apple does in fact provide such a service, although it's not yet an instant1 download scenario like what is offered by Facebook and Google. To access the information Apple currently has about you, follow these steps:

  1. Go to: https://www.apple.com/privacy/contact/
  2. A Privacy Questions page will open
  3. Select the Privacy issues option from the drop-down list
  4. A form will appear with six mandatory fields
  5. Enter your region, name and email address (Note: Apple will use this info later to help it match your identity, so you will need to answer these truthfully)
  6. Enter something appropriate for the subject
  7. In the Comments field enter a small description of what you're after. You do not need to go into any great detail - simply request a copy of any personal information they have and a history of anything you've purchased/downloaded from Apple services
  8. Click on the blue Submit button
  9. A Thank You message will appear
  10. Apple will initially respond by requesting further information from you (e.g. your street address, phone number and details about Apple products you own)
  11. After verifying your identity Apple will send you a .zip file containing your information

NOTE: Be patient - your request is likely to take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

1 It's not necessarily an instant service from Facebook or Google, but you'd typically be able to download the data within a few hours. While Apple is moving towards a similar self-serve model, it's not currently ready in most parts of the world, although it will be available in Europe before the end of May 2018.


Below are some related articles which may be of interest:

NOTE: I have no affiliation with USA Today or the author (Jefferson Graham) of the above articles.

  • 1
    So, a lot better than some who give it away without any request... – Solar Mike May 8 '18 at 14:20
  • 1
    @SolarMike Indeed! In fact I've just added some related articles to the bottom of my answer and the last one about Apple taking 8 days actually highlights (to my mind at least) how much more careful Apple is with our data. – Monomeeth May 9 '18 at 4:59
2

Just a few weeks later Apple automated this process:

Thank you for your patience. Apple has launched a new online service which allows you to directly request your account information. Please visit this visit this site to continue your request:

privacy.apple.com

Get a copy of your data

Download a copy of your data from Apple apps and services. This may include your purchase or app usage history, and the data you store with Apple, such as calendars, photos, or documents.

Correct your data

If you believe that any personal information stored by Apple is incorrect, you can request that we update it.

Deactivate your account

Temporarily deactivate your account and restrict access to your data. You will not be able to access your account or any Apple services while your account is inactive.

Delete your account

Permanently delete your account and associated data from all Apple services.

It takes some days until you receive download link:

Your data request is in progress.

This data is being prepared for download. When it is ready we will notify you at xxx@xxx.xx. This process can take up to seven days.

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