Apple has long been a vanguard for user privacy, which is rather uncharacteristic for the technology industry.
The company has always committed to protecting its users’ privacy and sensitive data. Among tech companies, it’s also very transparent about the data that it does collect.
If there’s a move that’s prime evidence of this fact, it’s probably the company’s newly launched Data & Privacy Portal.
For some context, the new portal was created to comply with the European Union’s strict GDPR data privacy regulations — which were enacted earlier this year. All companies that do business in Europe have to comply with these regulations.
Other tech companies have been hesitant to promise to bring GDPR-compliant systems to regions other than Europe. But not Apple. The company announced that it would launch its newly revamped privacy portal across the globe.
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In October, Apple made good on that promise. It officially launched the Data & Privacy Portal in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
But what, exactly, is this portal? And how do you use it? Here is everything you need to know.
What Is It?
Basically, the Data & Privacy portal is a one-stop shop for viewing, managing and correcting data associated with your Apple account.
To be clear, the Data & Privacy portal doesn’t add any new functionality to Apple’s services.
You could always request a copy of the data Apple collects on you, for example. But previously, this was a tedious process that involved specifically contacting Apple Support and waiting for a response.
The Data & Privacy portal streamlines and simplifies the process — and it also packages several other related tools into a single web page.
How to Use Apple’s Data and Privacy Portal
Note: The revamped Data & Privacy Portal is only available in the European Union, United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia as of the time of this writing.
Luckily for all of Apple’s users, using the company’s new Data and Privacy portal is pretty easy — which is kind of the point.
To get started, just click on this link. Alternatively, type or paste the URL privacy.apple.com into your browser.
You may need to confirm using two-factor authentication. But once you do, just click Continue and it’ll bring you to the main landing page.
From here, you can do a few things.
How to Get Your Data
Undoubtedly, one of the main reasons many Apple account holders will use the portal is to see what kind of data the Cupertino tech giant has collected on them.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s not very much — at least, compared to other tech firms you encounter in your day-to-day life.
But there’s still some data. Here’s how to check it out.
- Click Get Started under the Obtain a copy of your data section.
- Look through the various data categories and select the ones you want to review by checking the box next to them.
- Click on Continue.
- From here, you can set preferences as far as download size, between 1 and 25GB — a handy way to keep file sizes manageable.
- Finally, click on Complete request.
Apple will then send you an email notifying you of your data request. Keep in mind that your data download has an expiration date, usually a couple weeks.
The actual data may take some time to collect — up to seven days — but Apple will send an additional email to you when your download is ready.
Alternatively, you can log back into the Data & Privacy portal to access your data. There will be a notification on the side letting you know your data is ready.
How to Edit Your Data
If you find something amiss when you’re reviewing the data Apple has on you, the Data & Privacy portal offers an easy way to access tools where you can correct them.
- Simply go back to the main Data & Privacy landing page.
- Click Get Started under the Correct your data section.
There are two categories of data you can edit: Apple ID account information and Apple Store transactions and information.
Apple notes that correcting data for the former is done at appleid.apple.com, while corrections for the latter can be done at the Apple Online Store account settings page.
How to Deactivate or Delete Your Account
The Apple Data & Privacy portal also features quick links to the account deactivation and account deletion process.
While they’re similar, both processes are actually quite different. Here’s how they differ.
- Deactivating your account is a way to temporarily restrict access to your Apple services and data. You won’t be able to use your account for anything while it’s deactivated. That includes Apple services like iCloud or Apple Music.
- Deleting your account does what it says on the tin. Unlike some social media platforms, Apple offers a way to permanently delete your account and purge all associated information and data. This is, of course, irreversible.
Because these are likely to be fairly niche processes, we’re not going to include instructions on them.
On the other hand, using account deactivation or deletion are just as easy as checking or correcting your data (though account deletion is a bit longer of a process).
Just click on Get Started underneath the Deactivate your account or Delete your account sections and follow the instructions.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.