Researchers say iPhone usage data isn't as anonymous as Apple claims

enaph

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Code sleuths at Mysk are challenging Apple's vaunted focus on privacy. The developers claim Apple's anonymous usage data for some in-house apps includes a Directory Services Identifier (DSID) uniquely linked to your Apple ID and iCloud data. Apple could potentially use this DSID to pinpoint your App Store browsing habits, according to Mysk. This seemingly contradicts Apple's assertion that "none" of the data is personally identifying, and appears to extend to iOS 16.


The researchers previously shared findings that iOS 14.6 sends large volumes of first-party app activity to Apple, even if you completely disable device analytics or otherwise limit collection. This includes your iPhone model, keyboard languages and other details that could theoretically be used to fingerprint your device. Gizmodo notes that users filed a class action lawsuit against Apple after Mysk published its privacy data.
 

enaph

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I've found that with any proprietary system, such as an iPhone, it is best to assume everything you enter into it is going to be on the public ledger at some point. I'm at the point where I can only trust FOSS stuff after all these companies lied through their teeth about what they do and don't collect.
Well, you can trust FOSS as long as you can read and understand the code behind it and compile it by yourself. Otherwise you still need to trust the one who did this for you.
 

Stenographers

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Nov 11, 2022
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Well, you can trust FOSS as long as you can read and understand the code behind it and compile it by yourself. Otherwise you still need to trust the one who did this for you.
That is an excellent point. But I think there is some merit to the idea that FOSS software is less likely to be backdoor'ed. Not impossible, as it has happened before, but less likely. Additionally I'm not saying FOSS is more secure. Studies have shown there is little to no difference in software security between well known FOSS projects and proprietary. I say well known, because well I will only use well known FOSS tools. The more obscure small projects are less likely to have many eyes auditing it.
 

Zero Knowledge

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The problem is who do you trust? Apple or Google? Microsoft or Linux? Closed vs Open Source?

If it's a problem to navigate the trust issue in the security/privacy field by tech savvy users, then it's almost impossible by regular users.

You shouldn't have to trade off privacy for security, but unfortunately you do in this world.
 

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