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Guardum comment: Apple accuses Facebook of collecting ’as much user data as possible’

November 2020 by Darren Wray, CTO at data privacy experts Guardum

Following the news around Apple accusing Facebook of collecting as much user data as possible and disregarding their privacy, Darren Wray, CTO at data privacy experts Guardum offers the following comment:

“The changes that Apple is making are in fact long overdue. The presence of the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) came as a surprise to many people using iPhones, with its ability to track your activity across websites and monitor app installations. The IDFA is a big improvement from what came before though as the IDFA can be changed and it is also consent-based so a user needs to switch it on, which ensures greater control and privacy as well as being needed for compliance with the GDPR.

Given how much information we carry and reveal to our smartphones, we must do all we can to limit the information we leak. It is a good idea to review the privacy settings on your phone a few times a year, this will help you ensure that only the apps you still use have access to information and that you haven’t inadvertently enabled a setting that is providing more information than you want to share. My advice is always to give your apps the least amount of access to your information and then increase the access if/as you need to.

Smartphone privacy is still evolving, these changes that Apple is making along with the need for developers to submit privacy "nutrition labels" for their apps from December 8th, really are a step in the right direction.

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