To understand what data your iPhone collects, you need to first learn about the many ways in which an iPhone collects data. Firstly, there is the iPhone operating system itself. iPhones are continuously collecting data about your location, your purchase behaviour, and the channels you are using. Your iPhone keeps a record of all your transactions and can even decline requests to delete your account. When creating an Apple ID or interacting with an iPhone, you give iPhone builder Apple the permission to to collect all kinds of data - from contact information, type of device, payment & transaction data, even your location data, fitness, and financial data. All of these data aren’t sold by Apple, but they can use it for marketing and research purposes.  

Secondly, you will likely have a range of apps installed on your iPhone (preferably downloaded via the app store), of which most of them try collect an abundance of personal data, as well. However, Apple has recently implemented many user-friendly features that allow you to monitor and manage the use of your data for all your apps.  

How to check which data is collected by your iPhone?

to check which data is collected by your iPhone, go to the > Data & Privacy section, select “Manage your data”.  

Location Data

All iPhone operating systems track their users’ location by default, even if they choose to disable location services for specific apps. If you want to change this, go to Settings > Privacy Menu > Privacy and Location Services. This way, you'll have sucessfully preventing the sharing of your location data. For best usuability within the apps, however, we recommend that you leave this toggle on, particularly if the apps need your location for functioning properly (e.g. Apple Maps). For those apps, we recommend you activate the mode 'upon use'. For others, we recommend you set the status to 'never'.


Also, in the new tab > Tracking > you can see which apps have permission to track you. The easiest way to go about this is to deactivate all tracking requests by default (see top section). To do that, you simply turn off the toggle switch.  

We recommend you check these sections regularly to see if you accidentally made any changes you didn't intend to do.

How to know you can trust an app with your data?

Most app builders fail to adequately inform their users what kind of data they collect from them and how they process them. This is the main reason why users should use their awareness as a weapon for data protection. Always choose a company that is transparent about the data they collect, how they process it, and offer some value in return. Avoid companies fail to inform their customers about the data they gather and can’t provide any value to their customers.  

However, please keep in mind that any company out there, no matter the size, is vulnerable to a security breach of its database which can occur at any point in the future. As long as your data is stored on any company’s servers, it is not safe from leaking out and, sooner or later, possibly finding its way into the hands of a malicious entity. To put things in perspective, a whopping 46% of U.S. companies suffered a data breach in 2018 alone.

What to look for in an app's privacy policy?

A good privacy policy states in simple language how a website or a company collects, processes and shares your personal data. A company should also notify its’ users of what kind of personal information they collect. For example, they can collect your name, location, email address, even your credit number. A good privacy policy should include details about how a company will use and protect your personal data. The most crucial points in every privacy policy that are:

  • Will they give your data to any third parties? See if you have some wiggle room to opt out of the app/service provider’s ability to sell your data to third parties.
  • Will you be notified of any changes to the policy? If the service or app developer is bought by another company, or if they make any changes to the policy, is it your right as a consumer to know?  
  • Do they delete your data after a maximum amount of time? Most services may keep your data for a set amount of time, but what happens to your data if you cancel or deactivate your account?
  • What type of information do they collect? Give them the least amount of info about you. The required fields will usually be marked with an asterisk. Don’t offer anything extra other than what is required.
  • Are they using Secure Socket Layers? SSL is an industry-standard form of securing personal data. It means your data is being transferred in an encrypted format and cannot be read by third parties during transmission.

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