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28 January 2021

Apple marks Data Privacy Day with new transparency pledge

28 January 2021

Apple has unveiled new data privacy measures designed to protect users, as the tech giant marked Data Privacy Day by calling for more transparency around the gathering of personal information.

The technology giant announced that from the spring it will require apps on its devices to get a user’s permission before tracking them across other apps and websites.

The update follows the introduction of so-called privacy nutrition labels that the company introduced for all apps in its App Store earlier this year.

The new feature, called App Tracking Transparency, will enable users to go to their Settings app and see which apps have requested permission to track them, and make any changes as they see fit.

Privacy means peace of mind, it means security, and it means you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your own data.

To further mark Data Privacy Day on Thursday, the US company has also published a new online guide called “A Day in the life of Your Data”, which uses a fictional story of a father and daughter visiting a park to help the public better understand how different companies track their information across apps and websites.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said: “Privacy means peace of mind, it means security, and it means you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your own data.

“Our goal is to create technology that keeps people’s information safe and protected. We believe privacy is a fundamental human right, and our teams work every day to embed it in everything we make.”

Apple has long positioned itself as the company of data privacy, building software and firmware into its devices to protect personal data and even clashing with law enforcement agencies over refusing to create backdoors to get over its protections.

The company’s stance has previously been praised by a number of privacy organisations.

Later on Thursday, Apple chief executive Tim Cook will deliver a speech as part of the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference, which is taking place virtually, where he is expected to discuss user choice and trust around data privacy.

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