Apple Privacy Features

We’re committed to protecting your data.

Our products and features include innovative privacy technologies and techniques designed to minimize how much of your data we — or anyone else — can access. And powerful security features help prevent anyone except you from being able to access your information. We are constantly working on new ways to keep your personal information safe.


Safari is a browser that includes state-of-the-art features to help protect your privacy, defending you against cross-site tracking and minimizing the data passed to third parties. And Private Browsing adds even more protections, such as locking your windows when you’re not using them.

View the Safari Privacy white paper (PDF)


Passkeys replace passwords with an easier and safer sign-in method. Your private key is never kept on a web server, so you don’t have to worry about website leaks compromising your accounts. And passkeys never leave your device and are specific to the site you created them for, making it almost impossible for them to be phished. Passkeys are end-to-end encrypted and sync across your Apple devices through iCloud Keychain. On Apple devices, simply use Face ID or Touch ID to sign in. For websites or apps on non-Apple devices, use your saved passkey by scanning the QR code with your iPhone or iPad and using Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention

You may have noticed that when you look at something to buy online, you suddenly start seeing it everywhere else you go on the web. This happens when a third party tracks cookies and other website data to show you ads across various websites.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention uses the latest in machine learning and on-device intelligence to fight this cross-site tracking. It hides your IP address from trackers so what you look at on the web remains your business — not an advertiser’s. And you don’t have to change any settings for these protections because Intelligent Tracking Prevention is on by default.

Privacy Report

Your Privacy Report shows you all the cross-site trackers that are being blocked by Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari. You can access your report from the Safari toolbar and the Safari start page.

Password monitoring

Safari checks to see whether your saved Keychain passwords have been compromised in data breaches. It uses secure and private cryptographic techniques to regularly check derivations of your passwords against a publicly available list of breached passwords. If Safari identifies a potentially compromised password, your device will notify you. Your password information is never revealed as part of this process — not even to Apple.

Social widget tracking prevention

Social widgets embedded on websites, such as like buttons, share buttons, and comment fields, can be used to track you even if you don’t click them or use them. Safari blocks this tracking by default, and it prevents social widgets from accessing your identity unless you grant them permission.

Fingerprinting defense

Safari works to prevent advertisers and websites from using the unique combination of characteristics of your device to create a “fingerprint” to track you. These characteristics include the device and browser configuration, and fonts and plug-ins you have installed. To combat fingerprinting, Safari presents a simplified version of the system configuration so more devices look identical to trackers, making it harder to single yours out. This protection is on by default, so there are no extra steps for you to take.

Private Browsing

When you turn on Private Browsing, Safari won’t add the sites you visit to your history, remember your searches, or save any information from forms you fill out online — and advanced tracking and fingerprinting protections go even further to help prevent websites from tracking or identifying your device. Known trackers are completely prevented from loading on pages, and link tracking protection removes tracking added to URLs as you browse. Content blocker support is designed so that it can’t send developers information about what you’re looking at. And private browsing windows automatically lock — requiring your device password to be unlocked — when you’re not using them.


With the Smart Search field in Safari, you can type website names, web addresses, and search queries all in one place. Safari minimizes the amount of data sent to third-party search engines — for example, it won’t share cookies or your precise location, which may happen if you search by other means. Safari also offers the option to set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine, allowing you to search the web without being tracked.

Extension controls

Browser extensions can help you do many things, like saving money on purchases or improving your grammar. However, they can also be used to track you, taking note of what you browse and even what you type. With Safari extension controls, you can grant extensions access to your information just for one day, just for this current website, or always.


Face recognition and scene and object detection are done completely on your device rather than in the cloud. This allows Apple to provide you with these advanced features without accessing your photos. And apps can access your photos only with your permission.

Lock Hidden and Recently Deleted albums in Photos

The Hidden and Recently Deleted albums in Photos are locked by default. You can unlock them using your device’s authentication method — Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode.

Memories and Sharing Suggestions

The Memories and Sharing Suggestions features in the Photos app use on-device intelligence to analyze your photos and organize them by faces, places, and more to help you find them easily. Because this all happens on your device, Apple can provide you with these advanced features without accessing your photos.

iCloud Photos

If you choose to back up your photo library to iCloud Photos, Apple protects your photos on our servers with encryption. Photo data, like location or albums organized by places, can be shared between your devices with iCloud Photos enabled. And if you choose to turn off iCloud Photos, you’ll still be able to use on-device analysis.

Sharing controls

macOS, iOS, and iPadOS let you decide if you want to include the photo’s location, edit history, and depth data when you share a photo — whether you’re sharing it with a friend or with an app.

Third-party app permissions

Photo pickers help you select which photos to share with an app while keeping the rest of your library private. When apps ask for your entire photo library, you’ll be able to see how many photos and videos they can access and a sample of what they can use and share. You’ll also receive occasional reminders so you can check what you’re sharing — and make changes if you like.


If an app requests access to your photos, you can choose which images you’d like to share without granting access to your entire library. Or if an app wants to add a photo to your library, you can allow it to do so without accessing your photos. You can also choose to grant an app general access to your photos.

FaceTime, Messages, and More

Your iMessage and FaceTime conversations are encrypted end-to-end, so they can’t be read while they’re sent between devices. Mail helps hide your activity from unwanted senders.


Mail Privacy Protection helps protect your privacy from prying email senders. It hides your IP address so senders can’t create a profile with your other online activity or see where you are, and they can’t tell if you’ve opened their email.

End-to-end encryption

End-to-end encryption protects your iMessage and FaceTime conversations across all your devices. With watchOS, iOS, and iPadOS, your messages are encrypted on your device so they can’t be accessed without your passcode. iMessage and FaceTime are designed so that there’s no way for Apple to read your messages when they’re in transit between devices. You can choose to automatically delete your messages from your device after 30 days or a year or keep them on your device indefinitely.


Apple doesn’t store your FaceTime and Group FaceTime calls on our servers. And during transit, these calls are protected with end‑to‑end encryption. Anyone can now join you in one-on-one and Group FaceTime calls from their browsers instantly with the same privacy protections. No Apple device or login required.

And starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, you can send friends and family a link to connect on FaceTime — even if they’re using Windows or Android. 1 It’s still end-to-end encrypted, so your call is as private and secure as any other FaceTime call.



NameDrop is a feature in AirDrop that lets you hold your iPhone near another iPhone to share contact information with only your intended recipients. You can also choose the specific contact information you want to share — and just as important, which information you don’t want to share.

iMessage apps

iMessage apps — which let you share stickers, songs, and more without leaving Messages — do not have access to participants’ actual contact information or conversations. iOS and iPadOS provide each app with a random identifier for each participant, which is reset when the app is uninstalled.


Link Tracking Protection

When you share links in Messages, the extra information that some websites add to their URLs will be removed to prevent them from tracking you or the person you shared the link with.

iCloud Backup

iMessage and SMS messages are backed up on iCloud for your convenience, but you can turn iCloud Backup off whenever you want. And Apple never stores the content of FaceTime calls on any servers.


SharePlay allows you to share experiences from Apple or third-party apps in FaceTime calls. The content that apps exchange over SharePlay is end-to-end encrypted, just like other FaceTime calls.


Wallet helps keep your keys, boarding passes, tickets, and more secure.

Keys and passes

Corporate passes and hotel keys can all be added to one convenient location in Wallet. Your passes and keys are protected and stored in the Secure Element on your device. (none)


Apple designs health products to help keep your data secure and protect your privacy. You have control over which information is placed in the Health app and which apps can access your data through it.

View the Health Privacy white paper (PDF)

Encrypted data

You decide what information is placed in the Health app as well as who can access your data. When your phone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID, all your health and fitness data in the Health app — other than your Medical ID — is encrypted. Any Health data backed up to iCloud is encrypted both in transit and on our servers. And if you use a recent version of watchOS and iOS and turn on two-factor authentication and a passcode, your health and activity data will be backed up in a way that Apple can’t read.

Activity sharing and deletion

You can choose to share your Activity data from your Apple Watch with other users. If you later decide to stop sharing, then the other user’s iPhone will delete historical data stored in the Fitness app. You also have the ability to temporarily hide your activity.

Health sharing

Share your health data with people important to you or those who are caring for you. Choose which data and trends to share, including heart health, activity, labs, vitals, Medical ID, cycle tracking, and more.


HealthKit allows developers to create health and fitness apps that can share data with the Health app or with each other. As a user, you have control over which elements of your HealthKit information are shared with which apps. Apple requires every app in the App Store to provide a privacy policy for you to review, including apps that work with HealthKit. Apps that work with HealthKit are prohibited from using or disclosing HealthKit data to third parties for advertising or other data mining purposes, and apps can only share data for the purpose of improving your health, fitness, or health research with your permission. When you choose to share that data with trusted apps, it goes directly from HealthKit to the third-party app and does not traverse Apple’s network.

ResearchKit and CareKit

ResearchKit and CareKit are open source software frameworks that take advantage of the capabilities of iPhone. ResearchKit enables developers to create apps that let medical researchers gather robust and meaningful data for studies. And CareKit is a platform for developers to create apps that help individuals take a more active role in their own well-being.

With ResearchKit, you choose which studies you want to join, and you control the information you provide to individual research apps. Apps using ResearchKit or CareKit can pull data from the Health app only with your consent. Any apps built using ResearchKit for health-related human subject research must obtain consent from the participants and must provide information about confidentiality rights and the sharing and handling of data.

These apps must also be approved by an independent ethics review board before the study can begin. For certain ResearchKit studies, Apple may be listed as a researcher, receiving data from participants who consent to share their data with researchers, so we can participate with the larger research community in exploring how our technology could improve the way people manage their health. This data is received in a way that does not directly identify the participants to Apple.

Learn more about ResearchKit and CareKit

Improve Health & Activity and Improve Wheelchair Mode

Improve Health & Activity and Improve Wheelchair Mode send data from iPhone and Apple Watch to Apple so we can increase the effectiveness of our health and fitness features. This includes data that is shown in the Health, Activity, and Fitness apps, movement measurements, which other fitness apps you have installed, your approximate location, and how long you have been using Apple Watch. The data is not used for any other purpose and does not include personally identifiable information.

Location Services

Location Services privacy controls are a powerful way to manage which apps have access to your location.

View the Location Services Privacy white paper (PDF)

App location permissions

Location permissions help you control the location data that you pass to apps using fine-grained controls. You can choose to grant an app access to your location once or anytime you use it.

Approximate location

Starting with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7, you can choose whether apps can see your approximate location — within an area of about 26 square kilometers — rather than your exact location. So you can use apps to find nearby restaurants or check the local weather without providing more information than you need to.

Background tracking notifications

Receive notifications when an app is using your location in the background, so you can decide whether to update your permission. Background tracking notifications include a map that shows you the places where an app used your location in the background.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth location privacy enhancements

Starting in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, API changes limit the kinds of apps that can see the names of Wi-Fi networks you connect to, which makes it harder for apps to determine your location without your consent. To protect you against apps using Bluetooth to determine your location without your consent, iOS and iPadOS include controls so that an app must ask before accessing Bluetooth for any other purpose than playing audio. And Bluetooth settings allow you to change whether an app has access at any time.

Location controls for shared photos

macOS, iOS, and iPadOS let you decide if you want to include the location when you share a photo, whether you’re sharing it with a friend or with an app.

Sign in with Apple

Sign in to apps and websites quickly and easily without having your activity tracked or profiled by Apple.

View the Sign in with Apple tech brief (PDF)

Sign in using your Apple ID

Sign in with Apple lets you sign in to apps and websites using the Apple ID you already have. When you use Sign in with Apple, the most information websites and apps can ask for is your name and email address. And Apple won’t track or profile you when you use Sign in with Apple.

Hide your email

If you don’t want to share your email address with a particular app or website, you can choose to hide it. You can also choose to have Apple create a unique email address that forwards to your real address.

Two-factor authentication

Sign in with Apple requires your Apple ID to be protected with two-factor authentication, so that access to accounts in your favorite apps is more secure.

Upgrade to Sign in with Apple

Developers can offer you the option to upgrade existing app accounts using Sign in with Apple. You can quickly and easily sign in to your accounts using Face ID or Touch ID and take advantage of Apple’s two-factor authentication for improved privacy and security, without having to set up a new account.


Our entertainment services use information about what you listen to, watch, and play to help personalize your experience. But Apple doesn’t build a comprehensive profile of your activity across services.

Apple Music

Apple Music doesn’t contain advertisements from other companies. To help personalized features like Listen Now, Autoplay, personal mixes, and new release notifications reflect your musical tastes, Apple collects some information about your activity when you play or browse music. This is detailed during setup in “About Apple Music & Privacy.” Apple Music is obligated to share some aggregated data with partners, like record labels, for purposes such as royalty payments to artists, but it only does so with industry‑leading privacy protections.

Apple Music does not share data with partners using any user or device identifiers. And if you don’t want to keep your music collection on our servers, you can opt out of iCloud Music Library. iOS and iPadOS put you in control of which apps can access your Music account and associated details. The opt-in Apple Music Friends feature lets you share your favorite music — and decide which friends can see the music in your profile. Apple Music only has access to the contacts you choose to add to Apple Music Friends specifically, not your entire contact list.

Learn more about Apple Music and Privacy

Apple TV

To offer personalized recommendations and improve your Apple TV experience, Apple collects information about your purchases, downloads, and activity in the Apple TV app, including what you watch on the Apple TV app, connected apps, and your location. You can choose to share what you watch in connected apps to bring all your content together, and you have control over the viewing history used by Apple to provide you with personalized recommendations. You can delete the viewing history Apple holds from connected apps entirely, or choose to delete it app by app.

Learn more about the Apple TV app and Privacy

Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade games do not collect any personal data about you or track any information about how you play without your permission. Games in Apple Arcade contain no in-game advertising and no third‑party tracking.

Learn more about Apple Arcade and Privacy

App Store

Every app in the App Store is required to follow strict guidelines on protecting your privacy and to provide a self-reported summary of how it uses your data. And apps must ask for your permission before accessing things like your photos or location.

App guidelines

On the App Store, Apple requires app developers to adhere to specific guidelines designed to protect user privacy and security. Apple also requires them to provide a privacy policy that you can review. When Apple becomes aware of an app that violates our guidelines, the developer must address the issue or the app will be removed from the App Store. Apps go through a review process before becoming available on the App Store.

Learn more about the app review process (PDF)

Privacy Nutrition Labels

Developers are required to self‑report how they are using your data –– such as usage data, contact information, or location –– and whether that data is used to track you. You can view each self-reported Privacy Nutrition Label on the app’s product page on the App Store at any time, including before you choose to download. This is part of ongoing work to increase transparency and control over your data, and Apple will continue to update this feature and work with developers to ensure that users can make informed choices.

Learn more about privacy labels on the App Store See how apps from Apple handle your data

App permissions

Once an app is installed on your device, you are prompted for permission the first time it tries to access information such as your location or photos. You can make changes to the permissions you’ve granted. And iOS 11 or later and iPadOS give you the control to provide your location to any app only while you’re using it. Apple also makes sure that there are certain types of data on your device that apps simply can’t access, and that there is no way for an app to ask for complete access to all your data.

App Clips

When you use an App Clip, developers can only ask for a limited set of data. When an App Clip requires access to your location, camera, or other sensitive data, it will require the same consent as a full app. You can also choose to grant permission to all App Clips. App Clips aren’t allowed to ask your permission to track you across other companies’ apps and websites — only full apps can do that.

App tracking

An app tracking section in Settings lets you easily see which of your apps have been given permission to track you, so you can change your preferences and disable apps from asking in the future. iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 or later require developers to get your permission before tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites for ads or data brokers.


What you store in iCloud is protected with encryption. By design, third-party developers using CloudKit do not have access to your Apple ID.

Encrypted data

iCloud secures your information — like photos, contacts, and notes — by encrypting it when it’s in transit, storing it in an encrypted format, and safeguarding your encryption keys in Apple data centers. Both Apple and third‑party data centers may be used to store and process your data. When processing data stored in a third‑party data center, encryption keys are accessed only by Apple software running on secure servers, and only while conducting the necessary processing. For additional security, you can enable Advanced Data Protection, which uses end‑to‑end encryption to ensure that iCloud data in many categories can be decrypted only on your trusted devices, protecting your information even in the case of a data breach in the cloud.

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security for your Apple ID. It’s designed to help ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account, even if someone else knows your password. It’s easy to set up and easy to use.

Learn more about iCloud Security

iCloud sharing

With iCloud sharing, the identities of participants are not made available to anyone who has not been invited to and accepted a private share. The names of your shared files and the first and last name associated with your Apple ID are available to anyone who has access to the sharing link, including Apple. In iOS 11 or later, iPadOS, and macOS High Sierra or later, end‑to‑end encryption in iCloud syncs certain types of personal data, such as your Health data, across all your devices in such a way that Apple cannot read or access it.

Third parties

If Apple uses third-party vendors to store your data, we encrypt it and do not give them the keys, so they can’t access your data. Apple retains the encryption keys in our own data centers so you can back up, sync, and share your iCloud data. iCloud Keychain stores your passwords and credit card information in such a way that Apple cannot read or access them.


CloudKit is a way for third-party developers to use iCloud storage in their own apps. CloudKit helps keep your preferences, settings, and app data up to date across your devices. Developers use CloudKit to make it easier for you to use their apps because you don’t have to sign in separately. By default, developers don’t have access to your Apple ID, just a unique identifier. If you give your permission, developers can use your email to let others find you in their app. You’re always in control of these permissions and can turn them on or off at any time. Your data associated with CloudKit isn’t shared with developers unless you choose to share or post publicly.


iCloud+ includes great features to help protect your privacy when browsing the internet and using email.

Hide My Email

Hide My Email allows you to create unique, random email addresses that forward to your personal inbox so you can send and receive email without having to share your real email address.

Children and Families

Features like Communication Safety, Screen Time, Family Sharing, and Apple-designed education apps help keep kids safe and give parents and teachers control over what children can access and share.

Children’s safety

Communication Safety adds protections for children who may receive or attempt to send photos or videos containing nudity. Parents can manage Communication Safety through their Family Sharing plan.

Content containing nudity will be blurred and the child will be warned, presented with helpful resources, and reassured that it is OK if they do not want to view the photo or video. Similar protections are available if a child attempts to send photos or videos that contain nudity. In both cases, children are given the option to message someone they trust for help. The warnings work across the Messages app, FaceTime video messages, and AirDrop, and when using the Phone app to receive a Contact Poster and the Photos picker to choose content to send.

All image and video processing for Communication Safety occurs on the device, meaning neither Apple nor any third party gets access to the content. Photos and videos are analyzed to determine if they contain nudity. End-to-end encryption is maintained, and no indication of the detection of nudity leaves the device. Apple does not get access to the messages, and no notifications are sent to the parent or anyone else.

Family Sharing

With Family Sharing, parents have visibility into their children’s activity and content on their Apple devices, and children can have their own Apple IDs with the consent of the family organizer. In addition to Communication Safety features that help parents protect children from accessing or sharing content containing nudity, Apple has developed tools such as Ask to Buy. This feature allows parents to approve app downloads or in‑app purchases to give them control over their children’s purchases using their Apple ID.

Learn more about Family Sharing

Screen Time

You can use Screen Time to better understand and make choices about how much time your children spend using apps and websites. Activity Reports give you a detailed look at all their app usage, notifications, and device pickups — and only you, your children, and those you choose to share it with can view this information. You can also set the amount of time your kids can spend each day on specific apps and websites.

Learn more about Screen Time

Education apps

Apple doesn’t sell student information, and we don’t share it with third parties to use for marketing or advertising. Apple doesn’t collect, use, or disclose student information from Apple School Manager, the Schoolwork app, the Classroom app, iTunes U, or Managed Apple IDs other than to provide relevant educational services. And Apple does not track students or build profiles based on their email or web browsing. Parents can decide if they want their child to participate, and students have access to their own data on their devices.

Learn more about Privacy and Security in Education View ISO certifications

Student Privacy Pledge

To provide the best privacy protections for students and teachers, all relevant agreements and processes are aligned with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In addition, Apple has signed the Student Privacy Pledge, further underscoring our commitment to protecting the information students, parents, and teachers share in schools.

Read the Student Privacy Pledge

Kids apps and the App Store

Apple has guidelines that are designed to protect user privacy and security for all apps. For apps in the Kids category, we require additional safeguards to help protect children’s data and prevent improper advertising. We believe that when parents download an app for their children from the Kids category, they should have visibility into how their children’s device usage may be transmitted and confidence that their children won’t be subjected to inappropriate advertisements.

Privacy protections are built in.

Privacy is a foundational part of the design process. We incorporate these protections throughout Apple products, apps, and services.

Data minimization

At Apple, we believe in collecting only the personal data required to deliver what you need. Whenever possible, Apple processes and analyzes personal data on your device. In instances where specific personal information is necessary, we minimize the amount we use to provide the intended service — like your location when searching in Maps. Apple does not maintain a comprehensive user data profile of your activity across all our products and services to serve you targeted advertising.

On-device intelligence

Apple uses machine learning to enhance your experience — and your privacy — by using on-device processing so other people don’t see your data. We’ve used it for on-device image and scene recognition in Photos, predictive text in keyboards, and more. For example, the A13 Bionic and later chips and the Neural Engine in iPhone can recognize patterns, make predictions, and learn from experience, similar to the way you do. So your device can create personalized experiences without having to analyze personal information on Apple servers. Developers can use our frameworks, such as Create ML and Core ML, to create powerful new app experiences that don’t require your data to leave your device. That means apps can analyze user sentiment, classify scenes, translate text, recognize handwriting, predict text, tag music, and more without putting your privacy at risk.

Transparency and control

When Apple does collect personal data, we’re clear and transparent about it. We make sure you know how your personal information is being used, and how to opt out anytime you like. Data and privacy information screens help you understand how Apple will use your personal information before you sign in or start using new features. We also provide a set of dedicated privacy management tools on our Data and Privacy page. For example, in iOS 14 or later you can choose to grant an app access to just the images you want. And you’ll receive a notification when an app is using your location in the background, so you can decide whether to update your permission.

Visit your Data and Privacy page

Protecting your identity

Apple has developed technologies to help obscure your identity when data must go to Apple servers. Sometimes we use random identifiers so your data is not associated with your Apple ID. We have also pioneered using Differential Privacy to understand patterns of behavior while protecting an individual user’s privacy. If you choose to send Apple analytics about your device usage, the collected information does not identify you personally. When it’s collected, personal data is either not logged at all, removed from reports before they’re sent to Apple, or protected by techniques such as Differential Privacy. Techniques like these help us deliver and improve services while protecting your privacy.

View the Differential Privacy white paper (PDF)

Data security

Without security protections, there is no privacy. Every Apple device combines hardware, software, and services designed to work together for maximum security and a transparent user experience. Custom hardware — such as the Secure Enclave in iPhone, iPad, and Mac — powers critical security features like data encryption. Software protections work to help keep the operating system and third-party apps safe. Services provide a mechanism for secure and timely software updates; power a safer app ecosystem, secure communications, and payments; and provide a safer experience on the web. Apple devices help protect not only the device and its data at rest, but the entire ecosystem, including what you do locally, on networks, and with key web services.

Learn more about Apple Platform Security