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Apple updates privacy minisite, says iOS 9 News personalization delinked from Apple ID

Apple on Tuesday updated its privacy minisite, spelling out things like its policy on encryption and changes related to iOS 9, such as the way it targets stories and advertising in its News app.




"We knew coming in that building a personalized news product could be very sensitive —and the first thing we thought about was we really don't want to associate news with your personal Apple account," Apple's senior director of global privacy, Jane Horvath, told the Washington Post.

The updated privacy site explains that while News collects data on reading habits, these are linked to a special identifier found only in that app, instead of a person's Apple ID. Users can also choose to reset their News history.

Elsewhere, new wording about encryption emphasizes the importance of the technology in protecting things like financial transactions. It also reiterates Apple's claim that it can't unlock iOS 8 or 9 for other parties, a point that has generated anger from some in government. People such as FBI director James Comey have claimed that such intense levels of encryption interfere with law enforcement, and argued for the creation of backdoors, despite concerns those same holes could be used by hackers and other malicious groups.

Much of the site attempts to distinguish Apple's approach from the likes of Google and Facebook. The latter two companies make most of their money from advertising, and regularly track users across the Internet for that purpose. Because Apple relies on hardware sales, the company has been able to limit and anonymize tracking in many cases.