This information will likely not be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to #BigTech’s increasing propensity to violate the privacy of users and use their data for questionable reasons, but here we are.
The provision, which appears in the iTunes Store & Privacy windows of iOS and tvOS devices, says:
To help identify and prevent fraud, information about how you use your device, including the approximate number of phone calls or emails you send and receive, will be used to compute a device trust score when you attempt a purchase. The submissions are designed so Apple cannot learn the real values on your device. The scores are stored for a fixed time on our servers.
Venture Beat points out that this provision is unusual, in part because it includes Apple TVs, which do not have the capability to make calls or send emails.
It’s equally unclear how recording and tracking the number of calls or emails traversing a user’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch would better enable Apple to verify a device’s identity than just checking its unique device identifier. Every one of these devices has both hardcoded serial numbers and advertising identifiers, while iPhones and cellular iPads also have SIM cards with other device-specific codes
APPLE is now assigning trust ratings to iPhone users, based on your phone call and email habits.
The new ratings were added as part of the latest iOS 12 update, which rolled out to users on Monday, September 17.
Apple’s new system was revealed after the company updated its iTunes policy page on the official website.
According to the iPhone maker, Apple builds a score based on the number calls and emails you send and receive – to help spot fraudulent transactions made using your device.
“To help identify and prevent fraud, information about how you use your device, including the approximate number of phone calls or emails you send and receive, will be used to compute a device trust score when you attempt a purchase,” Apple explained.
“The submissions are designed so Apple cannot learn the real values on your device. The scores are stored for a fixed time on our servers.”
So how does it actually work?
Apple has a bunch of different anti-fraud systems in place to work out whether payments you make are legitimate.
One of these, added in the new iOS 12 update, is a numeric trust score that’s associated with your device.
This score is sent directly to Apple when you make a purchase.
The data used to create the score – including the number of phone calls you’ve made – is only ever stored on your device.
Importantly, when Apple sees the score, it doesn’t see the contents of your communications. It’s not reading your emails, for instance.
These scores are also encrypted in transit, which means anyone who managed to intercept them would only see gibberish.
Apple says it holds onto the scores for a limited period of time, although it’s not clear how long that is.
it’s not just Apple