(Pocket-lint) - If you're anything like us at Pocket-lint, you're now super aware of the amount of data you give companies, like Apple.
Whether it's granting full-on access to your social profiles, or casually leaving a trail of metadata, like when and who you messaged in an app, such as FaceTime, if you're on the internet, you're giving away information.
What we do online, the sites we visit, the things we buy, the people we message or call, the shows we watch... that's all user data, and it can be harvested and analysed to figure out who you are and what you're most likely to do next. Companies use that information to tailor ads, sell you relevant goods, and, in some cases, manipulate you.
But consumers are becoming more aware of this business, and they want to know which companies track them and what type of information is stored on them. You can download a copy of your data from Facebook, Instagram, and many other sites and services. But what about Apple? Does it provide a similar data-download tool?
Why, yes, it does.
How to find out what data Apple has on you
If you'd like to get a copy of your data from Apple, follow these steps:
- Go to Apple's Manage your Apple ID page: https://appleid.apple.com/account/manage
- Sign into your Apple ID
- Scroll down to the Data & Privacy section
- Tap on the 'Manage Your Data and Privacy'
- Tap on 'Request a copy of your data'
- Select the data you'd like to download by ticking the boxes
- Press 'Continue'
- Choose the maximum file size most convinient for you to download
- Tap on 'Complete request'
How long does it take to receive your data?
Apple will email the email address associated with your Apple ID to let you know it is preparing your data report. It can take up to seven days to get the report.
When the report is ready, it will be sent to the email address associated with your Apple ID.
How to download a copy of your Apple data
An email should arrive within seven days. It will include a password that's used to open a zip file of your data. The zip file will contain folders with mostly Excel spreadsheets, but there could also be files in JSON, CSV, XML, or PDF format.
Documents, photos and videos will appear in their original format. Contacts, calendars, and bookmarks in VCF, ICS, and HTML format.. The files will be no bigger than the limit you selected.
What type of data does Apple have on you?
The answer to this question depends on you, how many Apple devices and services you have used, and how often you've interacted with Apple in the past. Here are some examples of what you might find:
- Basic account information
- Logs of every time your device downloads data from iCloud
- A record of all your interactions in iCloud email
- Whenever you've reset your Apple ID password
- Logs of all the times you tried to place a FaceTime call or send an iMessage
- An entire history of devices and accessories you've purchased from Apple
- Any time you've called AppleCare - with notes about the issue you reported
- All your repair transactions with Apple
- Al the times you've logged into iTunes
- Gaming sessions stored in Game Center
- A record of every song uploaded to or downloaded from iTunes Match
- All your purchases from iTunes
And that's about it. Clearly, Apple collects information about you, but you won't see anything dire like copies of entire messages, ads you've clicked, or copies of your photos - all things that services like Google and Facebook can have on you. But, remember, Apple is a hardware maker. It's not entirely focused on serving you ads.