We’re committed to protecting your data.

Privacy is built in from the beginning. Our products and features include innovative privacy technologies and techniques designed to minimise 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

Safari is a browser that includes state-of-the-art features to help protect your privacy, defending you against cross-site tracking and minimising the data passed to third parties.

View the Safari privacy white paper (PDF)

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 works by separating the third-party content used to track you from other browsing data, 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.

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 defence

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. You can use content blockers to control what’s loaded onto your browser and to prevent anyone from attempting to track your activity on a website or across websites. Content blocker support is designed so that it can’t send developers information about what you’re looking at.

Search

With Safari’s Smart Search Field, you can type website names, URLs and search queries all in one place. Safari minimises 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.

Maps

Personalised features are created using data on your device. And data that is sent from your device to the Maps service is associated with random identifiers so Apple doesn’t have a profile of your movements and searches.

Personalisation

Many helpful features, like finding your parked car, are created using data on your device. This helps minimise the amount of data sent to Apple servers.

End-to-end encryption

Maps keeps your personal data in sync across all your devices using end-to-end encryption. Your Significant Locations and collections are encrypted end to end so Apple cannot read them. And when you share your ETA with other Maps users, Apple can’t see your location.

Random identifiers

Maps doesn’t have a sign-in. The data that Maps collects while you use the app — like search terms, navigation routing and traffic information — is associated with random identifiers, not your Apple ID. These identifiers reset themselves as you use the app to ensure the best possible experience and to improve Maps.

Location fuzzing

Maps goes even further to obscure your location on Apple servers when you search using a process called “fuzzing”. Because your location can give away your identity, Maps converts the precise location where your search originated to a less-exact one after 24 hours. Apple doesn’t retain a history of what you’ve searched for or where you’ve been.

Maps extensions

Maps extensions that are used in ride-booking and reservation apps run in their sandboxes and share permissions with their own parent apps. For ride-booking apps, Maps shares only your starting point and destination with the extension. And when you reserve a table at a restaurant, the extension knows only the point of interest you tapped.

Photos

Face recognition and scene and object detection are done completely on your device rather than in the cloud. So Apple doesn’t know what’s in your photos. And apps can access your photos only with your permission.

View the Photos tech brief (PDF)

Memories and Sharing Suggestions

The Memories and Sharing Suggestions features in the Photos app use on-device intelligence to analyse your photos and organise them by faces, places and more to help you find them easily. Because this all happens on your device, Apple doesn’t learn who or what is in your albums.

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 organised by places, can be shared between your devices with iCloud Photos enabled. On-device analysis, like face recognition and scene and object detection, isn’t synced or shared with Apple. 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 apps

Apps can ask for access to a single photo instead of all your photos. In addition, apps that simply need to add a photo to your Photos library can ask only for that specific action — without being able to see your photos. You can still choose to grant an app general access to your photos if you like.

iMessage and FaceTime

Your Messages and FaceTime conversations are encrypted end to end, so they can’t be read while they’re sent between devices.

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 to keep them on your device indefinitely.

FaceTime

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.

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.

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.

Siri

Siri is designed to do as much learning as possible offline, right on your device. Searches and requests are associated with a random identifier — a long string of letters and numbers — not your Apple ID.

On-device suggestions

When you ask Siri to read or search for information on your device, such as in Messages and Notes, and when Siri provides many types of suggestions, including in Safari or Maps, all your personal information is kept on your device rather than being sent to Apple servers. And Siri Suggestions in the QuickType keyboard features are made possible by an Apple-developed neural network language process that runs directly on your device.

Random identifiers

Although Apple attempts to do as much as possible on your device, when you use certain features — like making a voice request to Siri or searching in Spotlight or Safari — real-time input is needed from Apple servers. When we do send information to a server, we protect your privacy by using random identifiers, not your Apple ID. Information like your location may be sent to Apple to improve the accuracy of responses, and we allow you to disable Location Services at any time.

On-device processing

Even when requests come to Apple’s servers, we keep as much of your personal information on your device as we can. For example, when you ask Siri to read one of your messages, Siri reads the message without sending it to Apple servers.

Siri and Dictation

The longer you use Siri and Dictation, the better they understand you and improve. To help Siri and Dictation recognise your pronunciation and provide better responses, certain information such as names of your contacts and music, books and podcasts you enjoy is sent to Apple servers using encrypted protocols. Siri and Dictation do not associate this information with your Apple ID, but rather with a random, device-generated identifier. You can reset that identifier at any time by turning Siri and Dictation off and back on, effectively restarting your relationship with them. When you turn Siri and Dictation off, Apple will delete the Siri Data, including your request history, associated with your Siri identifier, and the learning process will start all over again.

Improving Siri and Dictation

By default, Apple does not retain audio recordings of Siri and Dictation interactions. Computer-generated transcripts are used to improve Siri and Dictation. You can opt in to help Siri improve by allowing Apple to store and review audio of your Siri and Dictation interactions, and you can opt out at any time. These audio samples are associated with a random identifier instead of your Apple ID. In addition, you can delete all the Siri and Dictation requests, including audio recordings and computer-generated transcripts, associated with the random identifier from Apple’s servers at any time. Note that requests more than six months old and the small sample of requests that have been reviewed may not be deleted, as they are no longer associated with the random identifier.

Learn more about Ask Siri and Privacy

Suggestions in Search and Safari

When you use Safari, Search in iOS or iPadOS, or Spotlight in macOS, your searches are sent to Apple servers along with contextual information like your location or actions taken in the search session to provide you with the most relevant suggestions. This information is associated with a random identifier, not your Apple ID, so that searches and locations are not connected to you personally. For suggestions in Search and Safari, a new random identifier is generated every 15 minutes, and your precise location is never shared with the server. Instead, an approximate location from your device is sent using location fuzzing. You can choose to disable suggestions in Search and Safari. If you choose to disable location-based suggestions, Apple will still use your IP address to determine a general location to make suggestions more relevant.

Learn more about Siri Suggestions and Privacy

Health

You have control over which information is placed into the Health app and which apps can access your data through it. And if you decide to join research studies through the Apple Research app, you choose what data gets shared with researchers.

Encrypted data

The information you add about yourself in the Health app is yours to use and share. 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 is encrypted. Any Health data backed up to iCloud is encrypted both in transit and on our servers. And if you use the latest versions of watchOS and iOS and turn on two-factor authentication, 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 Activity app. You also have the ability to temporarily hide your activity.

HealthKit

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 and Activity 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.

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 now 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 now includes 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 without the tracking

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 favourite apps is more secure.

Entertainment

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

Apple Music

To help Apple Music features like Radio and For You reflect your musical tastes, Apple collects some information about your activity in the app. This is detailed during setup in “About Apple Music & Privacy”. The songs you stream aren’t used by any other service to advertise to you. 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 Apple Music Friends feature lets you share your favourite 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 personalised 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 personalised 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 they must ask for your permission before accessing things like your photos or location.

App guidelines

On the App Store, Apple requires app developers to agree by 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.

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 of your data.

iCloud

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

Your iCloud content — like photos, contacts and reminders — is encrypted when it’s transferred and when it’s stored on our servers. Mail is sent from your device to iCloud with encryption in transit, and it’s stored with security features designed to protect your communications while giving you fast and easy access to your messages. Apple also encrypts the information that is transferred between any email app you use and our iCloud mail servers. Some personal data, such as Home and Health data, is stored with end-to-end encryption, which provides the highest level of data security. This data is protected with a key derived from information unique to your device and combined with your device passcode, which only you know. No one else can access or read this data.

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 names associated with your iCloud account 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 centres, 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

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.

CarPlay

All the rigorous privacy measures built into your iPhone and apps carry over to CarPlay. And iOS privacy updates apply to CarPlay too.

Data minimisation

When you use CarPlay, every app you see is powered from your iPhone rather than by the car. This means that Apple gives only limited metadata to the car to make the experience seamless, and only when that metadata is essential to delivering the service. For example, song information may be shared to display the current song you’re listening to, and the contact or call time for your current call may be displayed on an instrument cluster or head-up display to help you see helpful information.

Third-party apps

Third-party audio, messaging, voice dialling and navigation apps work in CarPlay, as well as apps that car manufacturers create for their own cars. Because they run on your iPhone, all the protections that apply to third-party apps in iOS apply to CarPlay too. And Apple always requires third-party apps to provide a privacy policy for you to review.

Home

The Home app uses encryption to protect the information you transmit to all your HomeKit accessories. Apps that use HomeKit are subject to strong terms in our developer guidelines.

Encryption

Data related to your home is encrypted and stored in the iCloud keychain of your device. It’s also encrypted in transit between your Apple device and the devices you’re controlling in your home, even when you control your accessories from a remote location. Recordings from security cameras that use HomeKit Secure Video are analysed privately on your Apple devices at home and then sent securely to iCloud through end-to-end encryption.

Location protections

When apps perform automatic actions based on your location, such as turning on house lights, these actions are initiated by HomeKit on your device, which makes your location invisible to the app. You can also disable use of your location at any time.

App protections

Apps that use HomeKit are restricted by our developer guidelines to using data solely for home configuration or automation services.

Random identifiers

Siri requests you make from your HomeKit devices are associated with a random identifier, not your Apple ID, so your identity is protected.

HomeKit Secure Video

In iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, HomeKit Secure Video ensures that activity detected by your security cameras is analysed and encrypted by your Apple devices at home before being securely stored in iCloud.

HomeKit-enabled routers

HomeKit-enabled routers let you see and manage your other accessories’ Internet traffic, both within your home and through the Internet.

Education and Children’s Privacy

Features like Screen Time, Family Sharing and Apple-designed education apps keep parents and teachers in control of children’s information.

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

Parental controls

Using Screen Time, you can set parental controls and restrictions on your children’s Apple devices to limit the websites they visit, the type of movies they watch, their access to FaceTime and Camera, and even their ability to download third-party apps. You can also place restrictions on privacy settings, such as for Location Services and Photos, so that your children cannot change those settings on their own.

Family Sharing

With Family Sharing, children can have their own Apple IDs with the consent of the family organiser. Apple has developed tools such as Ask to Buy, which allows parents to approve app downloads or in-app purchases to give them control over their children’s purchases using their Apple ID. Apple requires a parent or guardian’s consent to set up an Apple ID for their child and helps give adults visibility into their child’s activity and content.

Learn more about Family Sharing

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 certification ISO 27001 (IS 649475) View ISO certification ISO 27018 (PII 673269)

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 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 minimisation

At Apple, we believe in collecting only the personal data required to deliver what you need. Whenever possible, Apple processes and analyses personal data on your device. In instances where specific personal information is necessary, we minimise 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 chip and the Neural Engine in iPhone can recognise patterns, make predictions and learn from experience, similar to the way you do. So your device can create personalised experiences without having to analyse 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 analyse user sentiment, classify scenes, translate text, recognise 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 13 you can choose to grant an app access to your location once or anytime you use it. 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 behaviour 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.

View the iOS Security white paper (PDF) View the Face ID Security white paper (PDF)

Learn more about privacy at Apple.