Government agencies are tightening their nose on tech giants amidst scandals related to data leaks and user privacy. In 16 multi-part questions sent to Apple and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce has probed how the companies obtain and handle the massive amount of data.
Apple has responded to the questions [PDF] by assuring authorities that they believe in that privacy is a fundamental human right, and all their products are designed to minimize the collection of data from customers.
“Not all technology companies operate in the same manner— in fact, the business models and data collection and use practices are often radically different from one another. Apple’s philosophy and approach to customer data differs from many other companies on these important issues.
We believe privacy is a fundamental human right and purposely design our products and services to minimize our collection of customer data. When we do collect data, we’re transparent about it and work to disassociate it from the user. We utilize on device processing to minimize data collection by Apple.”
In the full-length letter, Apple has explained in detail its location services and has answered all the 16 questions. The letter came from Timothy Powderly, Apple’s Director of Federal Government Affairs on behalf of Tim Cook.
The letter mentions that Apple explicitly asks users permission whenever an app tries to access location and it is his/her decision whether to grant the permission or not. Even after giving the permission, users can visit the Settings section and withdraw the permissions at any point in time.
Other services like data collection via microphone, third-party apps’ ability to collect data, etc. that can compromise the privacy of users were also discussed in length.
Personally speaking, I find Apple more transparent about users’ data in comparison to Google, Facebook, and other leading tech giants.
Do your views differ from mine? Voice out your opinions in the comment section.