Print this page
Published in News

Apple's privacy claims misleading or flat-out inaccurate

by on08 February 2021

Washington Post shocked

Normally onside with Apple, the Washington Post has been shocked to discover that Apple's privacy claims for its Apple store appear to be a tad over optimistic.

For those who came in late, Jobs' Mob promises that privacy is its "core responsibility" and it does not want data harvesters in its App store. In fact it has even gone to war with some of the bigger App makers over this issue.

However the Washington Post spot-checked what a couple dozen apps claim about privacy in the App Store, I found more than a dozen that were either misleading or flat-out inaccurate...

Apple's big privacy product is built on a shaky foundation: the honour system. In tiny print on the detail page of each app label, Apple says, "This information has not been verified by Apple". The first time I read that, I did a double take. Apple, which says caring for our privacy is a "core responsibility," surely knows devil-may-care data harvesters can't be counted on to act honourably.

About a third of the apps checked that claimed they took no data but this was not true.

"If a journalist and a talented geek could find so many problems just by kicking over a few stones, why isn't Apple? Even after I sent it a list of dubious apps, Apple wouldn't answer my specific questions, including: How many bad apps has it caught? If being inaccurate means you get the boot, why are some of the ones I flagged still available?" the Post moaned.

The whole experience made the Post question if Apple's labels were helpful.

"Nowhere on any of Apple's privacy labels, in fact, do we learn with whom apps are sharing our data. Imagine if nutrition facts labels left off the whole section about ingredients."

He said that it was ironic that Facebook was more transparent.

"With a setting called "off-Facebook activity" that it launched in 2020, you can actually see all the different apps and websites that are feeding your data to Facebook and ask the social network to stop using the data to target you with ads.


Last modified on 08 February 2021
Rate this item
(1 Vote)