Apple has finally responded to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce regarding its inquiry about the company’s privacy and data collection practices.
On Tuesday, Apple’s director of federal government affairs, Timothy Powderly sent a letter to Republican Rep. Greg Walden (OR) who is also the committee chairman. It is a response to the inquiry letter sent to CEO Tim Cook on July 9. The device manufacturer contended their procedures about privacy and data collection which totally different compared to other tech companies such as Alphabet and Facebook.
According to the response letter of Apple, the customer is not their merchandise, and their business model does not rely on raising a huge volume of personally recognizable information to supplement aimed profiles sold to advertising.
The August 7 letter says, “We believe privacy is a fundamental human right and purposely design our products and services to minimize our collection of customer data.”When we do collect data, we’re transparent about it and work to disassociate it from the user. We utilize on-device processing to minimize data collection by Apple. The customer is not our product, and our business model does not depend on collecting vast amounts of personally identifiable information to enrich targeted profiles marketed to advertising.”
Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook both received a letter because of the rise in media reports. Those reports including other information given to the lawmakers have ostensibly heightened inquiries regarding the privacy operations of the said two companies.
The notice sent to Page comprised resources to reports alleging Android devices accumulate user location information and send it back to Google despite the disablement of the device’s location services ahead of time. The letter sent to Cook, on the other hand, contained a few queries but the collection and transmission of “extensive location data” were emphasized. The committee also wants to know how the Apple device’s users’ information is cushioned and when it is distributed and consolidated.
Apple restated that it gathers little data as much as possible as a procedure and believe that privacy is a basic human right and is intentionally crafted their products and services to lessen their acquisition of customer data. Powderly added that they are transparent when gathering data and work to detach if from the user.
Apple said its iOS system inscribes location data and won’t sync that information with any Apple ID or name. It forever eliminates data from an iPhone if the device doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi or power for a week.
iPhones containing no Sim cards will send a restricted amount of information regarding cellular towers and Wi-Fi hotspots to Apple in case the user has turned on location services. The information will then be ciphered and won’t be used to aim the advertising. In case, the location service is not enabled, the device will not deliver any information to Apple. The microphone on iPhones is not used to listen to the user’s conversation and does not impart details with Siri with third-parties.
Apple also gave out a list of information that can be gathered by third-party applications downloaded by iPhone users. It includes health, speech recognition, Bluetooth sharing, contacts, photos, and others.
The committee did not respond to disclose any information at the moment.