privacy

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'privacy' How Tos

How to Request a Copy of Your Apple ID Account Data

Apple now allows its customers to download a copy of their personally identifiable data from Apple apps and services. This can include purchase or app usage history, Apple Music and Game Center statistics, marketing history, AppleCare support history, and any data stored on Apple servers, including the likes of calendars, photos, and documents. This article outlines the steps you need to take to request a copy of your data from Apple. As of writing, the service is available to customers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. If you live in a country or region that's not listed above, you can still contact Apple to request a copy of your data. Apple promises to fulfill all data requests within seven days. Bear in mind that the size of the data download depends on the items that you choose to include (iCloud Photo Libraries can be several gigabytes, for example), but Apple will divide it into multiple files to make the download more manageable.

'privacy' Guides

Protecting Your Privacy in Safari for OS X El Capitan

Every time you visit a website you are sharing information about yourself with the outside world. This article runs through a number of methods you can use to gain more control over what gets shared, and who it gets shared with, whenever you use Apple's Safari browser to access the web on a Mac. It also covers methods you can use to prevent traces of your browsing history from showing up on your computer. While you may trust friends and family not to go searching through your web history, it's possible for them to unintentionally discover what you've been looking at, just by using Safari or performing an innocent search on your Mac. If you're interested in a similar overview covering Safari on iOS, check out this guide. This guide assumes you are using the latest public release of OS X El Capitan (10.11.6 as of initial writing), which you can check by clicking the  symbol in the menu bar at the top left of your screen and selecting "About This Mac". The version number appears beneath the OS X version name. If you're not up to date, you can download and install the latest version of OS X via the Mac App Store located on the Dock or in the Applications folder. Cookies, Location Services, and Tracking Many websites attempt to store cookies and other web page data on computers used to access online content. Cookies are small data files that can include things like your IP address, operating system, web browser version, the date you last visited the site, as well as any personal information you may have provided, such as your name, email address, and any relevant

Protecting Your Privacy in Safari for iOS

Every time you visit a website on your iPhone or iPad, you are sharing information about yourself with the outside world. This guide runs through a number of methods you can use to gain more control over what gets shared, and who it gets shared with, whenever you use Apple's Safari browser to access the web on an iOS device. It also covers some methods you can use to prevent traces of your browsing history from showing up on your iOS devices. While you may trust friends and family not to go searching through your web history, it's possible for them to unintentionally discover what you've been looking at, just by using Safari or performing a simple Spotlight search on your iPhone or iPad. If you're interested in a similar overview covering Safari on OS X, check out this guide. The guide assumes you are using the latest public release of iOS 9.3 (9.3.3 as of initial writing). If your device is running an older version, a message should have appeared on the screen that an update is available. Connect your device to a power source and then tap "Install Now" on the message to download the update over the air, or open the Settings app and tap General -> Software Update, and then tap "Download and Install". Alternatively, connect your device to a computer with an internet connection and with the latest version of iTunes 12 installed. Open iTunes, select your device (a device icon should appear just below the playback controls), click "Summary" in the sidebar, and then click "Check for Update" in the Summary screen. Click "Download and Update" if an update dialog

'privacy' Articles

Facebook Harvested Email Contacts of 1.5 Million Users Without Their Consent

Facebook harvested the email contacts of 1.5 million users without their knowledge or consent and used the data to build a web of their social connections, it emerged today. Business Insider reports that Facebook began collecting the contact lists in May 2016 when new users opened a new account on the social network. Image via Business Insider The harvesting occurred when users were offered email password verification as an option to verify their identity when signing up to Facebook, a method widely condemned by security experts. In some cases if users did enter their password, a pop-up message would appear informing them that it was "importing" their contacts, without even asking their permission to do so. These contacts were then fed into Facebook's database systems and used to build a map of users' social links and inform recommended friends on the social network. It's not clear if the data was also used for ad-targeting purposes. In a statement given to Business Insider, the company said that these email contacts had been "unintentionally uploaded" to Facebook when users created their account. It also said that prior to May 2016, it offered an option to verify a user's account and voluntarily upload their contacts at the same time. However, the feature was changed and the text informing users that their contacts would be uploaded was deleted, but the underlying functionality was not. Facebook says at no point did it access the content of users' emails. We estimate that up to 1.5 million people's email contacts may have been uploaded. These contacts

Mozilla Launches Petition Urging Apple to Reset Interest-Based Ad Identifiers on Monthly Basis

Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, today launched a petition urging Apple to reset the unique IDs used to serve interest-based ads in the App Store and Apple News apps on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV on a monthly basis. Mozilla takes aim at Apple's recent iPhone privacy ad in a blog post:Apple's latest marketing campaign — "Privacy. That's iPhone" — made us raise our eyebrows. It's true that Apple has an impressive track record of protecting users' privacy, from end-to-end encryption on iMessage to anti-tracking in Safari. But a key feature in iPhones has us worried, and makes their latest slogan ring a bit hollow. Each iPhone that Apple sells comes with a unique ID (called an "identifier for advertisers" or IDFA), which lets advertisers track the actions users take when they use apps. It's like a salesperson following you from store to store while you shop and recording each thing you look at. Not very private at all.These identifiers can already be manually reset under Settings > Privacy > Advertising on iOS devices and under Settings > General > Privacy on Apple TV, but Mozilla is asking for "a real cap" with an automatic monthly reset to make it "harder for companies to build a profile about you over time." "If Apple makes this change, it won't just improve the privacy of iPhones — it will send Silicon Valley the message that users want companies to safeguard their privacy by default," wrote Ashley Boyd, Mozilla's VP of Advocacy. Interest-based ads in the App Store and Apple News app are

Apple Says 'Privacy Matters' in Humorous New iPhone Ad

Apple today shared a new privacy-focused iPhone ad on its YouTube channel. The ad will premiere tonight and air through March Madness in the United States before expanding to select other markets globally. The 45-second video starts with the tagline "privacy matters" and then shows a variety of humorous if not slightly awkward situations where people would want their privacy protected in everyday life. In one scene, for example, two men briefly pause their conversation while a waitress is at their table. "If privacy matters in your life, it should matter to the phone your life is on," the ad concludes. "Privacy. That's iPhone." The ad arrives around six weeks after a major FaceTime bug was uncovered that allowed one person to call another person over FaceTime and listen to that other person's audio without the call being answered. Apple fixed the bug in iOS 12.1.4 and apologized, but it certainly wasn't good for its reputation. Apple similarly promoted its privacy stance with a billboard near CES 2019 in Las Vegas that read "what happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone." Bugs aside, Apple really does place an emphasis on privacy, especially compared to some other tech giants like Facebook. Apple has long said it believes privacy is a "fundamental human right," and as part of that, it aims to minimize its collection of customer data and disassociate it from an individual user when it

Apple Registers PrivacyIsImportant.com Domain Name

Apple has registered the domain name PrivacyIsImportant.com, according to a WHOIS record discovered by MacRumors. The records indicate that Apple took possession of the domain name on Monday. The record's contact information now lists Apple Inc. as the organization, complete with its address, phone number, and domains-related email. The registrar is CSC, a firm that protects domain names for large corporations. The domain name does not yet point to an active website, so it's unclear if or how Apple will use it, but it is certainly possible the company could be planning a privacy-focused marketing campaign along the lines of its "what happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone" billboard at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Apple has always been committed to privacy, which it believes is "a fundamental human right," but a marketing campaign could help reassure customers of that position after a major FaceTime privacy vulnerability surfaced in late

Austrian Privacy Watchdog NOYB Accuses Apple and Others of Failing to Comply With GDPR in Europe

Austrian non-profit organization NOYB, the "European Center for Digital Rights," has reportedly filed a complaint against Apple and seven other tech companies for allegedly failing to comply with GDPR in the European Union. NOYB said it tested each company's compliance with GDPR by requesting private data held about 10 users and found that "no service fully complied." "Many services set up automated systems to respond to access requests, but they often don't even remotely provide the data that every user has a right to," said NOYB founder Max Schrems. "This leads to structural violations of users' rights, as these systems are built to withhold the relevant information." Other companies named in the complaint include Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, and three more, according to Reuters. GDPR was implemented in May 2018 and gives European Union residents the right to access any personal data a company has stored on them. The regulation led Apple to launch a Data and Privacy portal that allows its customers to download a copy of any data associated with their Apple ID account that Apple maintains.

Data Broker Acxiom Comes Out in Support of Apple CEO Tim Cook's Call for US Data Privacy Regulation

One of the biggest ad data brokers has come out in support of Apple CEO Tim Cook's call for federal privacy legislation to regulate the collection and use of personal data in the United States. In a statement Thursday evening provided to Business Insider, data broker Acxiom confirmed its support for federal privacy legislation. "Acxiom, like Mr. Cook, also supports a national privacy law for the US, such as GDPR provides for the European Union," it read. A data broker acts as a middleman, transferring user data between different companies and parties. In his TIME op-ed yesterday, Cook called such an entity "a company that exists purely to collect your information, package it and sell it to yet another buyer." In a message consistent with Apple's policy that privacy is a "fundamental human right," Cook railed against this market for user information, which he said operates in a "shadow economy" that's largely unchecked, "out of sight of consumers, regulators and lawmakers." Responding to Cook's clarion call, Acxiom said that it had been "actively participating in discussions with US lawmakers" for years but denied that it partook in a "shadow economy" that operates unchecked. We agree that we must root out the nefarious players in the ecosystem, and Acxiom’s data privacy impact assessment (DPIA) process ensures we don’t do business with questionable companies. We look forward to working with people across the industry, including Apple, to ensure transparency, access and control is available to all people.In his TIME op-ed, Cook argued for the creation of a

Tim Cook Urges U.S. Congress to Pass Comprehensive Federal Privacy Legislation in Op-Ed

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Wednesday introduced the American Data Dissemination Act, legislation that would require the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to submit detailed recommendations for privacy requirements that Congress can impose on tech companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter. The bill is intended to address the lack of a single, comprehensive federal law regulating the collection and use of personal data in the United States with clear protections that consumers can understand and the FTC can enforce. Well timed with the news, Apple CEO Tim Cook has penned an op-ed for Time Magazine calling on Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation in the United States. He also challenges companies to strip identifying information from customer data or avoid collecting it in the first place. In the op-ed, Cook said he believes "data broker" companies that collect, package, and sell personal information should be required to register with the FTC and provide critical transparency information to the agency, and that consumers should have the power to easily access and delete that data if desired. "Right now, all of these secondary markets for your information exist in a shadow economy that's largely ­unchecked," wrote Cook. In 2014, the FTC published a report stating that "data brokers collect and store a vast amount of data on almost every U.S. household." Of the nine data brokers it examined, the FTC said one had a database with "information on 1.4 billion consumer transactions and over 700 billion aggregated data elements."

Apple Hires Prominent Facebook Critic for Internal-Facing Product Privacy Role

Apple has recruited a former Facebook employee who went on to become one of the social network's most ardent critics, reports The Financial Times (paywall). Sandy Parakilas monitored the privacy and policy compliance of Facebook developers for 18 months before leaving the social network in 2012. Sandy Parakilas talking to Bloomberg During his time at the company, Parakilas felt his concerns about its data-sharing policies were downplayed, according to FT. Last year, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Parakilas also gave evidence to the British parliament's digital, culture, media, and sport committee, and told MPs that Facebook's data protection practices were "far outside the bounds of what should have been allowed" between 2010 and 2014. Mr Parakilas has urged the tech industry to improve its data protection practices, increase the use of encrypted messaging and "verify the truth of statements that can be viewed by millions of people". "We now live in a world where racist demagogues and their dictator buddies can cynically exploit our tools to seize power," he wrote in a blog post in late 2016. "There is no such thing as a 'neutral platform'. Facebook, Twitter and Google all profited from this perversion of democracy."According to FT's sources, Parakilas will work in Apple's privacy team as a product manager, an internal-facing role designed to ensure that new products in development protect users' privacy and minimize data collection. Apple has made much of its privacy focus in recent years. In 2018, CEO Tim Cook singled out user privacy a "core

Ahead of CES, Apple Puts Up Billboard Touting Privacy in Las Vegas

In the heart of Las Vegas, where the Consumer Electronics Show is set to kick off next week, Apple has put up a giant sign touting the security of its devices. The billboard, which was noticed by Engadget's Chris Velazco, plays on an iconic Las Vegas tourism slogan: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." "What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone," reads the sign, which is located near the Las Vegas Convention Center and many prominent Las Vegas hotels. Apple never shows up at CES, so I can’t say I saw this coming. pic.twitter.com/8jjiBSEu7z— Chris Velazco (@chrisvelazco) January 4, 2019 CES will see thousands of tech industry attendees, members of the media, and tech exhibitors, and Apple's decision to put up a billboard here is interesting as the company does not have a presence at the show. Apple competitors like Amazon, Samsung, and Google will be present at CES showing off smart home devices, smartphones, and other products, and while Apple employees are likely to be in attendance, Apple will not be highlighting any of its devices at the event. It's not entirely clear when the billboard was put in place, but it seems clear that it's aimed at CES attendees who will be seeing products from companies with less of a privacy focus like Google and Amazon. Apple is not-so-subtly reminding the tech industry of its heavy emphasis on privacy, with the billboard offering up a link to Apple's dedicated privacy website. The Consumer Electronics Show starts on Tuesday, January 8 and lasts through the end of the

Australia Passes Controversial Encryption Bill Despite Opposition From Apple and Other Tech Companies

The Australian parliament on Thursday passed controversial encryption legislation that could result in tech companies being forced to give law enforcement access to encrypted customer messages. As we reported in October, Apple opposed the legislation in a seven-page letter to the Australian parliament, calling the encryption bill "dangerously ambiguous" and wide open to potential abuse by authorities. Advocates of the bill, officially titled "Assistance and Access Bill 2018," argue it is essential to national security because encrypted communications are used by terrorist groups and criminals to avoid detection. CNET provided a breakdown on the Australian bill and the three tiers of law enforcement and state agency assistance it covers: Technical assistance request: A notice to provide "voluntary assistance" to law enforcement for "safeguarding of national security and the enforcement of the law." Technical assistance notice: A notice requiring tech companies to offer decryption "they are already capable of providing that is reasonable, proportionate, practicable and technically feasible" where the company already has the "existing means" to decrypt communications (e.g. where messages aren't end-to-end encrypted). Technical capability notice: A notice issued by the attorney general, requiring tech companies to "build a new capability" to decrypt communications for law enforcement. The bill stipulates this can't include capabilities that "remove electronic protection, such as encryption."The Australian government insists that the laws don't provide a

Apple Customers in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand Can Download a Copy of Their Data Starting Today

Apple today is extending its full-featured Data and Privacy portal to the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Apple customers in those four countries will now have the option to download a copy of any data associated with their Apple ID account that Apple maintains, such as calendars, reminders, photos, and documents stored in iCloud, purchase histories, Game Center activity, and AppleCare support history. The portal has been available to customers in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland since May to comply with Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Apple said the service would be made available worldwide in the coming months, starting with today's expansion. In the meantime, Apple customers who live in a country or region that's not listed above can still contact Apple to request a copy of their data. Apple promises to fulfill all portal-based data requests within seven days, and emails customers to let them know it is preparing their data. Read our how-to for step-by-step instructions on requesting a copy of your data. Update: The data-download option doesn't appear to be available immediately and may take some time to roll out to all users

Apple's Privacy Website Updated to Reflect Latest Measures Taken in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave

Apple today updated its privacy website to reflect the latest measures it has implemented in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave to protect customers. For example, the new page reflects that all apps submitted or updated on the App Store now require a privacy policy, a requirement that went into effect October 3. Apple already required a privacy policy for apps that accessed personal information, but even basic apps that do not share data must have one now. In iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, Apple's so-called Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature has been improved. Now, when third-party tracking sites attempt to create cookies or store data, they can do so only with your explicit consent. In macOS Mojave, Apple has made it harder for trackers to create a unique device fingerprint. Meanwhile, automatic strong passwords in Safari on iOS and macOS, which are end-to-end encrypted in iCloud Keychain, make it easier to sign in to sites without using social media logins that can facilitate user tracking. Apple has also added protections for private data, such as requiring user consent for access to the camera and microphone on macOS Mojave. Apple has expanded its use of end-to-end encryption to include Group FaceTime and Screen Time on iOS 12, while its use of Differential Privacy now extends to the personalized Memoji features users select to help identify popular features, such as hairstyle, so Apple can expand its choices in the future. The updated privacy website also indicates that location data sent to nearby emergency services using RapidSOS is deleted after 24 hours.

Apple's Bud Tribble to Offer Support for 'Comprehensive Federal Privacy Legislation' at Senate Hearing on Wednesday

Apple is sending longtime employee and Vice President of Software Technology Bud Tribble to a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday to offer support for federal privacy regulations, reports Axios. According to Tribble's prepared statement obtained by Axios, he plans to "convey Apple's support for comprehensive federal privacy legislation that reflects Apple's long-held view that privacy is a fundamental human right." "We want your device to know everything about you; we don't feel that we should," he'll say. "These concepts have guided our design process for years because privacy is a core value at Apple, not an obligation or an aftermarket add-on."Tribble will echo sentiments that Apple executives have shared time and time again, explaining Apple's belief that customers have a right to keep their personal information private, a stance that differs from companies like Facebook and Google. Back in June, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview that privacy "from an American point of view" is one of the "key civil liberties" defining what it means to be American. Cook has also said multiple times that Apple's customers are not its product. "We could make a ton of money if we monetized our customers," Cook said in March. "If our customers were our product. We've elected not to do that. We're not going to traffic in your personal life." Tribble will be testifying before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation alongside representatives from other tech and media companies that include Amazon, Twitter, Google, AT&T, and Charter

'Five Eyes' Governments Urge Tech Companies to Build Backdoors into Encrypted Services

Five nations including the U.S. and the U.K. have urged tech companies to comply with requests to build backdoors into their encrypted services, or potentially face legislation requiring them to do so by law. The statement is a result of a meeting last week between the "Five Eyes" intelligence sharing countries, which include the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In a published memo, the governments claim that the use of such backdoors for accessing encrypted data would respect personal rights and privacy, and be limited only to criminal investigations by law enforcement. Privacy laws must prevent arbitrary or unlawful interference, but privacy is not absolute. It is an established principle that appropriate government authorities should be able to seek access to otherwise private information when a court or independent authority has authorized such access based on established legal standards. The same principles have long permitted government authorities to search homes, vehicles, and personal effects with valid legal authority.The memo goes on to note that each of the Five Eyes jurisdictions will consider how to implement the statement principles, including "with the voluntary cooperation of industry partners", while adhering to lawful requirements for proper authorization and oversight. The statement of principles underlines the fractious relationship between some governments and tech companies regarding encryption over the last few years, in which the popularity of digital messaging services has exploded. The U.K. government has long

All New and Updated App Store Apps Required to Have a Privacy Policy Starting October

Apple has announced that, starting October 3, 2018, all new apps and app updates will require a privacy policy in order to be submitted for distribution on the App Store or through TestFlight for beta testing purposes. Apple already requires a privacy policy for apps that access personal information, including apps that offer subscriptions, accept Apple Pay, or use Apple frameworks such as HomeKit, HealthKit, or CareKit. Now, the requirement will extend to all apps, including basic ones that do not share data in any way. It does not appear that existing apps on the App Store will be affected by this move until they are updated on October 3 or later, so long-outdated apps may remain without a privacy policy if they are no longer maintained. Apple detailed the upcoming changes in the News section of its App Store Connect portal for developers on Thursday:Starting October 3, 2018, App Store Connect will require a privacy policy for all new apps and app updates in order to be submitted for distribution on the App Store or through TestFlight external testing. In addition, your app's privacy policy link or text will only be editable when you submit a new version of your app. To add or edit your privacy policy for the App Store: 1. Go to My Apps in App Store Connect, and click on your app. 2. Under App Store, click on App Information. 3. In the top right corner, add your privacy policy link for iOS apps or macOS apps, or enter text directly for tvOS apps. 4. Click Save. To add your privacy policy link to your app for external TestFlight distribution: 1.

Idle Android Devices Send Data to Google Nearly 10 Times More Often Than iOS Devices do to Apple, Research Finds

Idle Android devices typically send data ten times more often to Google than iOS devices do to Apple's servers, according to new research shared by trade association Digital Content Next. In a paper titled "Google Data Collection," Douglas C. Schmidt, a computer science professor at Vanderbilt University, arrives at some stark conclusions regarding how much Google is collecting about consumers who use the company's products, even when they aren't interacting with their smartphones and tablets. Among several findings, Schmidt's experiments found that an idle Android phone with Chrome web browser active in the background communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period. An equivalent experiment found that on an iOS device with Safari open but not Chrome, Google could not collect any appreciable data unless a user was interacting with the device. In addition, he found that an idle Android phone running Chrome sends back to Google nearly fifty times as many data requests per hour as an idle iPhone running Safari. Overall, an idle Android device was found to communicate with Google nearly 10 times more often than an Apple device communicates with Apple servers. As well as data transmission frequencies, Schmidt's research also turned up some of the ways that Google can potentially tie together anonymous data collected through passive means with the personal information of its users. For example, on an Android device, so-called "anonymous" advertising identifiers that collect activity data on apps and third-party web page visits

Facebook Fights US Government Demand to Break Messenger Encryption in Criminal Case

Facebook is contesting a demand from the U.S. government that it break the encryption of its popular Messenger app so that law enforcement can listen in to a suspect's conversations as part of an ongoing investigation into the MS-13 gang. The U.S. Department of Justice's demand is in relation to a case proceeding in a federal court in California that is currently under seal, so public files are unavailable. However, Reuters' sources said the judge in the case heard arguments on Tuesday on a government motion to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to carry out the surveillance request. Facebook says it can only comply with the government's request if it rewrites the code relied upon by all its users to remove encryption or else hacks the government's current target, according to Reuters. Legal experts differed over whether the government would likely be able to force Facebook to comply. However, if the government gets its way in the case, experts say the precedent could allow it to make similar arguments to force other tech companies to compromise their encrypted communications services. Messaging platforms like Signal, Telegram, Facebook's WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage all use end-to-end encryption that prevents communications between sender and recipient from being accessed by anyone else, including the service providers. Tech companies have pushed back against previous attempts by authorities to break encryption methods, such as the FBI's request that Apple help it hack into the iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December

Apple Responds to U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce: 'The Customer is Not Our Product'

Last month, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent letters to Apple and Google parent company Alphabet with 16 multi-part questions about how the companies handle customer data. Apple has since responded to the letter, reiterating the company's belief that "privacy is a fundamental human right" and that it purposely designs its products and services to minimize its collection of customer data. Timothy Powderly, Director of Federal Government Affairs at Apple, responded on behalf of Apple CEO Tim Cook:Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your inquiry regarding the capabilities of Apple iPhone devices. Not all technology companies operate in the same manner— in fact, the business models and data collection and use practices are often radically different from one another. Apple’s philosophy and approach to customer data differs from many other companies on these important issues. 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 advertisers. Because we strongly believe the customer should control their personal information and the way it’s used, we provide a number of easily accessible resources on our website so

New 'Miles' App Awards Your Daily Commute With Exclusive Deals, If You Grant it Constant Location Access

Startup "Miles" today launched a new iOS app [Direct Link] that grants its users exclusive rewards to use at places like Starbucks and Whole Foods every time they travel in a car, bus, on a bike, or on foot. The company aims for its app to be a ground transportation alternative to frequent flier miles, allowing users to earn discounts over time for travel that they likely perform more frequently than flying on an airplane (via The Verge). The caveat is that for the full experience, the Miles app requires you to give it constant access to your location, so it can keep up with automatically tracking your movement and converting its "miles" currency into deals and offers. You can opt to choose "only while using the app," but you'll then need to remember to keep Miles open every time you travel in order to gain rewards. Under Miles' rewards, you'll earn more miles for transportation that is more environmentally friendly: one real-world mile of walking/running grants you 10 reward miles, one mile of biking is worth five reward miles, a mile in a ride share vehicle is worth two, and a mile in a car is equivalent to one reward mile. At launch, you'll be able to trade these reward miles in for deals like $5 gift cards to Starbucks, Amazon, and Target, $42 off a first order from Hello Fresh, a complimentary rental on Audi's Silvercar service, and more. Other launch partners include Whole Foods, Canon, Bath & Body Works, and Cole Haan. When you trade in miles for rewards, some deals grant you with a barcode to scan at the physical checkout location (Starbucks), while

Apple's Chinese iCloud Data Moved to Servers Managed by State-Owned Mobile Operator

Apple's Chinese iCloud operator has agreed a deal with state-owned China Telecom to transfer local customer data to the company's Tianyi cloud storage business, according to TechCrunch. China Telecom reportedly announced the agreement in a WeChat post, saying that local Apple partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) had migrated all Chinese iCloud customer data to Tianyi servers. Apple separately confirmed the change to TechCrunch. Back in January, Apple controversially announced that its iCloud services in mainland China would be overseen by GCBD, which was already known to have ties to the Chinese government. GCBD was brought on board to manage Apple's new $1 billion data center, which opened in the region last year. Customer data stored on iCloud includes emails, text messages, and the encryption keys that protect it. Customers who did not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD were given the option to terminate their account or select a country other than China for their iCloud account. Apple made the transfer to comply with the latest laws enacted in China regarding regulations on cloud services, requiring foreign firms to store data within the country. The move means Chinese government can use its own legal system to ask Apple for its users' iCloud data, whereas before the government had to go through the U.S. legal system. Today's development is unlikely to quell the concerns of human rights and privacy advocates, who criticized Apple's original decision to rely on GCBD and questioned whether it will be able to maintain and protect its customers'