Apple to roll out new privacy features to comply with European Union regulations

A 3D printed Apple logo is seen in front of a displayed European Union flag in this illustration taken

A 3D printed Apple logo is seen in front of a displayed European Union flag in this illustration taken

Apple is launching a major privacy push, with software updates across all its devices to introduce new data privacy information immediately, with an updated website offering new privacy management tools to follow in May. The update was made available from Thursday evening.

The company plans to roll out four privacy management tools to comply with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, which goes into effect May 25.

GDPR will replace the current patchwork of national data protection laws, give data regulators greater powers to fine, make it easier for companies with a "one-stop-shop" for operating across the whole of the EU, and create a new pan-European data regulator called the European Data Protection Board.

The update does not involve new terms and conditions or changes to how the company handles data, officials said. They state that data protection should be both by design and default in any operation. It will also bolster the requirement for explicit and informed consent before data is processed, and ensure that it can be withdrawn at any time. Data breaches must be reported within 72 hours to a data regulator, and affected individuals must be notified unless the data stolen is unreadable, ie strongly encrypted.

In its new update, Apple is providing standardised easy-to-follow information on how their data is handled by its different products and services.

Apple says its products and features have been created to protect privacy over many years by minimising data collected, maximising processing of data within individual devices so that it never goes near any Apple servers and keeping a focus on security, transparency and customer control. We're not going to traffic in your personal life. This regulation requires any entities who store or process personal data from European Union residents to adhere to additional rights granted to these residents in regard to this data.

Apple will soon make it easier for you to manage your privacy.

The company sees an opportunity to distinguish from competitors there too: deactivation, in particular, is a much stronger implementation than in other platforms. It hopes to engage users to read and interact with the privacy information provided.

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