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Apple's new privacy website now explains in greater detail how its products protect your privacy

By Ng Chong Seng - on 6 Nov 2019, 10:01pm

Apple's new privacy website now explains in greater detail how its products protect your privacy

(Image: Apple.)

Privacy is hard. While no single company can claim a perfect track record, most of us can sort of agree that among the biggest tech corporations, Apple comes across as the most data privacy focused.

Which is by no chance if you think about it. Because Apple makes most of its profits from hardware sales and not advertising, the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Watch maker is in a unique position that allows it to treat its users’ data differently.

And here’s the strangest thing: Apple has actually managed to build up its privacy reputation in the last few years by not talking too much about it on its own website. At keynotes, in product pages, in ads, on info screens when you set up an Apple device — yes; but through a dedicated website that spells out its privacy features across products in great detail — not so much.

But that’s changing today, though, as Apple flips the switch and turns on its revamped privacy website at www.apple.com/sg/privacy (do you even know there’s such a page?). Versus the old site, the new one is so much better organised and easier to read — which is no mean feat considering that Apple has added a ton of new content.

Briefly, the page now starts off with an overview (along with animations) of how different products such as Safari, Maps, Photos, Messages, Siri, Apple News, Wallet and Apple Pay, Health, Sign in with Apple and the App Store are designed to keep your data secure and private.

Then there’s a separate Features page for those who want to review the apps’ top privacy features in more detail. Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari, location fuzzing in Maps, end-to-end encryption in iMessage and FaceTime, random identifiers for Siri searches and requests, hiding your email with Sign in with Apple, encrypted data in iCloud, data minimisation in CarPlay — there's quite a bit to digest here.

(Image: Apple.)

Finally, there’s a page named Control, which like the Manage Your Privacy Page on the old site, offers tips on how you can keep your devices and data secure and shows you where certain privacy controls are located.

But that's not all. Apple is also taking the opportunity to publish four new white papers and tech briefs covering Safari, Sign in with Apple, Location Services and Photos, which you can find under their respective sections in the Features page.

Don’t worry: despite calling them white papers, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or programmer to understand them. Written in plain English, they offer yet more info about a product's privacy features, including those that don't make for great marketing headlines but are no less important. For example, I just discovered that Safari has a Private Click Measurement feature that stops cross-site tracking but still enables advertisers to measure the effectiveness of web campaigns.

(Image: Apple.)

The new Apple Privacy website is now live. Check it out if you’ve the time — it finally has content more interesting that the Transparency Reports.