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Apple privacy policy refuted by Microsoft

Identity expert Kim Cameron of Microsoft refuted Apple's claim that the "non-personal information" that it is collecting from its users are actually very personal indeed.

During a conference which centered on discussing privacy

He held a talk which included a discussion of Apple's new privacy policy for iPhone users. He asserted that this information which includes the user's occupation, area code, zip code, location, time zone, and the device's GUID could actually be used to identify it's user.


The amazing part about this is that the privacy policy explicitly states that Apple reserves the right to share this information "for any purpose". Even if Apple states that they only plan to use the information they collect to improve their services, advertising, and other products, the fact that they would like to use any information they collect for any other purpose other that that is quite distressing. Apple seems to define "non-personal information" as data which can indirectly identify a person.


Cameron clearly pointed out that calling this kind of information as "non-personal" is actually highly inaccurate. Not only is this personal, but if this information were collected  in numerous times by Apple, sooner or later, a particular location will stand out as the user's residence. Now if you use this location and do a little research using known website tools, you could actually identify the names of the persons who live there.


The whole argument that location information and a unique identifier can't identify a person is actually a blatant lie. With him claiming that Apple user's privacy are at risk, a supporter of Job's privacy policy pointed out a question that clearly showed how much a person's privacy is actually trampled on by companies. What would you prefer? Apple who clearly states that they can use information collected about an end-user in any way they wish, or other companies who just collect information about you without even informing you? These questions seem mute and academic as both cases treat personal privacy as non-existent.


Maybe these policies are only there to lull users into trusting companies? Or it is just a way for a company to legally get away with their dubious ways? Let yourself be the judge and read their privacy policy on your own.