Apple adds privacy section to its website, including open letter from Tim Cook

Privacy iOS 8

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has published an open letter that outlines the company’s commitment to respecting and maintaining the privacy of its users. Almost unsurprisingly, the letter comes just weeks after Apple suffered a PR disaster following a high-profile nude celebrity photo leak that was attributed to an iCloud breach.

The open letter stresses how Apple cares deeply about user privacy and goes to great lengths to protect it, with strong encryption and strict policies that govern how data is handled. It also reiterates how the iPhone maker has recently rolled out two-step encryption to protect all iCloud data alongside Apple ID accounts.

“We believe in telling you up front exactly what’s going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us. And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.”

The letter is part of a broader section that Apple has added to its website about privacy, outlining the company’s built-in privacy measures, various methods of managing your privacy and government information requests. This includes details about what type of information is requested, national security-related requests and more.

Apple claims that 93 percent of all information requests come from law enforcement agencies contacting the company on behalf of a customer that has had their device stolen. The remaining 7 percent of requests typically involve a request for information about a customer’s iTunes or iCloud account, but Apple rarely discloses this data.

In fact, less than 0.00385% of Apple customers had data disclosed due to government requests during the first half of 2014.

The steps that Apple outlines to manage your privacy include using a passcode, enabling Touch ID, securing your Apple ID with a strong password, hard security questions and two-step authentication, avoiding phishing scams and using Find My iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Overall, the new privacy website provides a wealth of useful information that makes Apple look a lot more transparent about the way it handles your personal information.

[via WSJ]