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Find out what Apple knows about you

It feels like data breaches are just a regular part of life these days. We seem to discover another massive breach every week or two. Ridiculous!

Even if you’re not a victim of a data breach, your information is still out there. The Cambridge Analytica controversy was a grim reminder that no matter how careful you are with your online profiles, your data is still being used, cataloged, tracked, monetized and analyzed by companies.

That’s why it’s good to know exactly what information companies have on you. Apple will let you see what data of yours it keeps. Keep reading to learn how to find out exactly what it knows.

What personal data is collected by Apple?

According to Apple, this is the personal information it collects:

  • When you create an Apple ID, apply for commercial credit, purchase a product, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Retail Store, contact Apple or participate in an online survey, it may collect a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences and credit card information.
  • When you share your content with family and friends using Apple products, send gift certificates and products, or invite others to participate in Apple services or forums, Apple may collect the information you provide about those people such as name, mailing address, email address, and phone number. Apple will use such information to fulfill your requests, provide the relevant product or service, or for anti-fraud purposes.
  • In certain jurisdictions, Apple may ask for a government-issued ID in limited circumstances including when setting up a wireless account and activating your device, for the purpose of extending commercial credit, managing reservations, or as required by law.

Here’s how to find out what Apple knows about you

On top of all that, Apple also keeps records of the phone calls you’ve made, text messages sent, FaceTime logs, data you’ve downloaded from iCloud and more. You can actually contact Apple and it will send you everything that it knows about you.

It typically takes about a week to get the data. Here’s how to get the info:

  • Go to: Apple’s privacy page.
  • In the drop-down box next to “I have a question about” select Privacy Issues
  • Fill out the form that appears — Select the region you’re in, enter your name, email address and put Personal Data in the subject line
  • In the comments section request your data with a short sentence — For example, “Please send me a copy of the data Apple has on me.”
  • Click Submit

After submitting this request, you will receive a follow-up email from Apple’s privacy team. It will look like the following:

About a week after sending this requested information you will receive a link with a password that will let you download an XLSX file, which is a spreadsheet. It can be opened with Excel or Google Sheets, or your spreadsheet program of choice and will show you every piece of data that Apple has on you.


Related: Another way to download data that Apple collects on you.


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