Everyone wants your data. If it’s not mistakes like Dropbox keeping your data stored online for years after you thought it was deleted, it’s Apple coming along and telling iCloud customers they need to view our photos, email messages, contacts, and more. To help improve Siri and make for a better artificially intelligent Apple.
Last week it was ‘LOL Dropbox Cat; ‘I Can Has Your Data?‘. This week brings a surprise and something unexpected. Apple wants your data, too. ‘LOL iCloud Cat; ‘I Can Has Your Data?‘
Apple came up with something called ‘differential privacy’ to get iPhone user data to help improve its online services like Siri and other artificially intelligent background processes. Now Apple wants to get your permission to analyze even more of your iCloud account data, ostensibly to improve Siri even more, and potentially to add more smart features which use AI.
Because Apple is losing the AI game to Google, Amazon, and others who more or less take it from users without asking. Last week Apple released an new iOS 10.3 beta version and this one came with a few changes to iCloud Analytics & Privacy. Apple needs more iCloud account data, so it wants to gather what it can from your email messages, photos, contacts, iCloud drive, notes, iTunes storage, calendar and more.
From the updated Policy:
Apple would like your help to improve our products and services by using, in a privacy preserving manner, data from your iCloud account
Sounds innocuous enough, right? Except that you’re opted in. Yes, you can opt out by changing a Privacy setting Settings, but that’s not how it starts. It wasn’t that long ago that Apple said its own deep-learning and artificial intelligence gather and analysis would be handled by the iPhone and iPad, rather than within iCloud itself, but it’s obvious the company needs more data.
Thanks to the definition of ‘beta’ in iOS 10.3, that’s about all we know. What data will Apple gather? We don’t know. How will gathered data be used? We don’t know. What products will the data be used in? We don’t know.
Will Siri of the near future be a better artificially intelligent personal assistant, or will Siri try to sell us TV shows in Apple TV, get us to subscribe to Apple Music, or tell us how much better she works for us if we only had a new MacBook Pro?
Personally, I’ve grown tired of businesses trying to sell me something every time I use a new product. So…
LOL iCloud Cat; ‘I Can Has Your Data?’
No. Sorry, Apple. You have enough. Use what you’ve got already, and deal with it.