Apple Inc. Reassures Users On Spotlight Suggestions Backlash

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Apple Inc. Reassures Users On Spotlight Suggestions Backlash
ElisaRiva / Pixabay

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has released a statement in response to the allegations that it automatically collects user search and location data using Spotlight Suggestions. The company said that the extent of the data collected is limited and that it is determined to keep customer data safe.

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Apple reassures users over privacy

A report from The Washington Post termed Spotlight as a privacy blunder on the part of Apple, saying that after Yosemite is installed, then users searching for files, even on their own hard drives, automatically send their locations, unique identifying codes and search terms to the company. The same process is applicable to a device using Apple Inc.’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8.

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In response, the iPhone maker issued a statement to iMore suggesting that the system is not as interfering as it was described by the Post. Though some information is sent to Apple’s server, it is only stored for 15 minutes before it is recycled.

“Apple devices only use a temporary anonymous session ID for a 15-minute period before the ID is discarded,” the company said in a statement.

The Cupertino Calif.-based company said it are committed to safeguarding the privacy of users and has full security features on its smartphones. Also the company does not track or store the IP addresses of the user’s device. The Spotlight feature, according to the company, never reveals the exact location of the user and does not use a permanent identifier, so a user search history can neither be created by Apple or anyone else.

Users may opt out

The iPhone maker also reassured users that it had worked in collaboration with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to safeguard their privacy. Moreover, only commonly searched terms and city-level location information is sent to Bing. Microsoft never retains search queries or receives users’ IP addresses.

Apple also said users can opt out of Spotlight suggestions, Bing and Location Services through System Preferences on Mac and Settings in iOS.

Apple upgraded the Spotlight feature in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 to include results in the form of local files and folders as well as extend it to the Web with Spotlight Suggestions, offering up information from Wikipedia, Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Apple Inc.’s first-party services like iTunes and the App Store.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com
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7 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with the original author. Spotlight search is a piece of dog doo. I’m very surprised that the software was apparently designed to know my physical location, but it can’t find files on the laptop! I can’t find important business documents and files anymore except on my TimeMachine backups. I’ve resorted to going back to the free version of Windows 10 in a virtual machine, and doing work in Windows. I’m so much more productive, since I’ve started using virtual machine software developed by Bertrand Serlet.

    By the way, I’m quite impressed with Windows 10. It’s come a long way since Vista, so I’m glad! We may all agree that Phil Morrison did a great job with his “Get A Mac” campaign, however most of the issues described in the 67 ad spots (on TV) that Apple produced have been resolved. Apple also created another 16 web-only ads, 15 for UK/England markets, and another 12 ads for Japanese markets. In total, 110 separate ads were produced. That’s a lot of ads. If £500,000 was spent on ad production, it’s easy to assume £55M spent on ads, plus the ad time on TV. It’s just disappointing that it took over 100 ads.

    So next, I hope that when Apple hires a few linux developers to determine Linux’s flaws. Then Apple can gain technical know-how, they can point out the flaws of Linux, because there are many more issue than Mac/PC today. With approvals of Mickey Mouse, Bob Iger, and the Apple Board, Phil will be able to spend Apple Cash letting everyone know of the technical superiority between a £1,599 Apple and the free linux software through the magic of advertising.

  2. BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY), Lenovo Deal Settled At $18 Per Share? 0

    BY FAHAD SALEEM ON OCTOBER 21, 2014BUSINESS & FINANCE, COMPANIES, INSIDE TECH, INTERNET, TECH

    BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) stock has jumped by 8.5% after the rumors, which suggest that Lenovo might be interested to take over the phone maker very soon. In a program on Fox Business, Nicole Petallides reported this stock surge of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) and said that this is not the first time that news are suggesting about a possible takeover of Blackberry by Lenovo.

    Lenovo took over the dying tablet business from IBM and turned that into a complete industry. Similarly, Blackberry can also be pulled out from its periodic plunges by Lenovo. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) recently rolled out its much awaited Passport phone. Although the phone broke some sales records, it couldn’t bring the company into the much needed limelight.

    Lenovo has given numerous hints in the past about the possible acquisition of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY). Last week, Lenovo announced that the company is considering to open a separate internet based smartphone business. The new sector will be under different name. In January 2013, Lenovo’s CFO claimed that Lenovo is looking forward to acquire the Canadian phone maker. But BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is always prompt to deny such rumors.

    BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s phone business is tumbling and sales are suffering. If the Chinese computer giant takes over BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), both companies can imbibe new opportunities in the marker space. A source has claimed that a deal between BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Lenovo will soon be signed. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) offered $15 per share initially, but the deal is settled now at $18 per share, the source claims.

    The latest stock surge for Blackberry and a possible takeover is a good news for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) investors, who have suffered consistent bad quarters from the company so far.

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