Apple lays out ‘differential privacy’ plan for data collection

Apple is working to explain its new “differential privacy” method of collecting enough user information to make its products more useful while still protecting user privacy, Recode reports. Data collection will begin with the rollout of iOS 10, but will be entirely opt-in, allowing users to decide whether they’re willing to trade a little privacy in return for added functionality. Those opting in will allow Apple to see new words added to their local dictionaries, emojis they type, deep links used inside apps, and hints within notes.
Off the table entirely are a user’s cloud-stored photos, with Apple promising not to use those to power its image recognition features in iOS 10. The company has said it is relying on “other data sets” to train its facial recognition technology. Outside of these few added inputs sent to Apple for analysis, much of the work done to predict the user’s needs will still take place on the iPhone itself, something Apple started in iOS 9, allowing the phone to look through mail and messages to find calendar items and contacts.

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