Because of the European Union’s upcoming privacy rules called the General Data Protection Regulation, U.S. companies are scrambling to comply. Apple is doing its part by letting customers download Apple ID data, which contains everything the company knows about you. Here’s how to access it (via CNBC).
Download Apple ID Data
- Find the section called Access to Personal Information.
- Click the link that says Privacy Contact Form.
- Choose your country.
- In the drop-down menu, click I have a question about privacy issues.
- Fill in your information.
- In the subject line, specify what your question is, like “Requesting Data Information.” Then in the comments, box, say that you want a copy of your data.
Your request will be sent to Apple’s privacy team. When they reply to your email, you’ll be asked for some of the same information you provided. According to the CNBC article, you’ll need to provide your Apple ID, a registered product serial number, and a previous AppleCare support number. I’ve never used AppleCare so hopefully I can provide other information to verify my identity.
Todd Haselton says that it took six days before he got a file from Apple. In that email is a password used to unlock the ZIP file, which is a security measure.
What Is and Isn’t Included
The information you’ll get includes a list of all of the apps, songs, books, music videos, and in-app purchases you’ve made with your Apple ID. If you use iTunes Match, you’ll get a list of the songs you’ve stored. Every Apple product you’ve ever purchased is also listed, as well as customer support queries and repair information.
More sensitive information is not included. Apple doesn’t know about data inside your account, like calendars, emails, iMessages, FaceTime, etc. Your location, Apple Maps searches, Siri requests, ads you’ve clicked on, and content like photos are not known to Apple either.
Basically, Apple knows about stuff you buy and content you consume, but everything else is off-limits. This is in stark contrast to companies like Google and Facebook, which know everything about you.