With its latest update, Apple has now made it much easier for customers to download the data the tech giant holds about the users and also the devices they use.
The updated Data and Privacy tools thus allow Apple users to download a version of the data the company holds on their usage of its apps and services. Apple also added that this might include purchase or app usage history and data stored with Apple, such as calendars, photos or documents.
To search for the site, users need to sign in to the Apple ID account page on a Mac, PC, or iPad. Then they would have to scroll down to Data and Privacy and select the ‘Manage your data’.
So, these tools arrive just ahead of strict new privacy legislation in Europe known as GDPR. Apple has also reported that the complete set of self-service data and privacy tools is currently available to customers in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Here, the company added that “We intend to provide these capabilities to customers around the world in the coming months”.
Apple users can select the data they would like to download from a list, and then the company would also prepare a copy for the users. However, this process might take a duration of seven days. Apple said that it would use the time to verify that it’s a genuine request in order to ensure the security of the user’s data.
That data might include information such as:
- App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store and Apple Music activity.
- Apple ID account and device information
- Apple Online Store and Retail Store activity
- Show more Apple Online Store and Retail Store activity
- AppleCare support history, repair requests and more
- Show more AppleCare support history, repair requests and more
- Game Center activity
- iCloud Bookmarks and Reading List
- iCloud Calendars and Reminders
- iCloud Contacts
- iCloud Notes
- Maps Report an Issue
- Marketing subscriptions, downloads, and other activity
Downloads include app usage and activity information as spreadsheets or files in JSON, CSV, XML or PDF format. Documents, photos, and videos would also arrive in their original format, while contacts, calendars, bookmarks and email are in VCF, ICS, HTML or EML format.
However, the download would not include app, book, film, TV programme or music purchases, or Apple Online Store transaction history and Marketing communications history.
Apple also notes that iCloud Drive files and documents, iCloud Mail and iCloud Photos data “may be large and take a long time to download”.
For now, customers in other countries can request a correction to their data or to delete their account and associated data completely, or contact Apple to request a copy of the data that it stores. However, this might significantly involve, more form filling.