Apple: Privacy

Google and Samsung, Apple’s biggest competitors, can’t write anything like this. Everything, including their privacy policy, is spelled out in plain English, and it seems as though they’ve improved their already-strong stance on privacy even in just the past few months.1 Take this, for example:

Your iMessages and FaceTime calls are your business, not ours. Your communications are protected by end-to-end encryption across all your devices when you use iMessage and FaceTime, and with iOS 8 your iMessages are also encrypted on your device in such a way that they can’t be accessed without your passcode. Apple has no way to decrypt iMessage and FaceTime data when it’s in transit between devices. So unlike other companies’ messaging services, Apple doesn’t scan your communications, and we wouldn’t be able to comply with a wiretap order even if we wanted to. While we do back up iMessage and SMS messages for your convenience using iCloud Backup, you can turn it off whenever you want.

And if you store your message using an encrypted local backup, as I do, there’s apparently no usable record of those messages on Apple’s servers. Am I a drug dealer? A human trafficker? A cynic? A conspiracy theorist who thinks Apple is willingly in bed with the government to influence our conversations and control our minds? No, no, no, and no. I just don’t think anyone else has any business reading my messages.

Not only do they tout their built-in privacy capabilities, Apple also provides a series of tips for users to strengthen their security. It’s very comprehensive and easy to understand. Apple has made it very simple for users to ensure the security of their devices and their data, because security tools are only good if people will actually use them.

  1. Though it’s not as though there hasn’t been impetus for that. I wonder if this site would have materialized in the same way had a series of celebrity iCloud accounts not been hacked. ↥︎