Apple's new Data & Privacy portal lets European users download stored personal data
Apple has made it easier for its customers to download all of their personal data stored on the company's servers, with a new Data and Privacy portal offering users also offering ways to correct personal information collected by Apple, and to deactivate or delete their account completely.
Initially announced in March and launched on Wednesday in the European Union, the Data and Privacy portal is a one-stop-shop for users wanting to get a copy of all the information Apple has about them. The site is dedicated to allowing users of iCloud and Apple's other services to manage their personal data, including corrections and removing it from Apple's servers.
The main section, "Obtain a copy of your data," provides a wide selection of data, including purchase and app usage histories, and the data users choose to store with Apple. The list of data categories available to download includes Apple ID account and device data, online and retail Apple Store activity, AppleCare support history and requests, Game Center activity, and activities associated with Apple's various online stores.
While also available manually, the data trove can also include items stored on iCloud, including files and documents on iCloud Drive, iCloud Mail, and iCloud Photos.
Apple warns the download will not include app, book, film, TV show, or music purchases, nor will it include the Apple Online Store transaction history and Marketing communications history, though these last two items can be acquired via a different request method.
Users could wait for up to seven days for the data to be prepared for download, Apple warns, with the company taking this time to verify the request came from the user themselves and not a third party. Once compiled, Apple will notify the user the data is available to download from their Apple ID account page.
The data will be available to download for a 14-day period after the request before being deleted. After that time, users will have to make another request for the data archive.
A second section called "Correct your data" advises users of existing ways to update their personal details. While the Apple Store and Apple ID information can be changed directly by users in a variety of ways, Apple also offers a link to get in contact with its Privacy team if more help is required.
The new Data and Privacy site has been produced in response to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will take effect on May 25. As part of the rules, companies are required to provide its customers in the EU with ways to see what personally-identifiable information is stored on their servers.
For now, the data download page only works with Apple accounts hosted in the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Service for other countries is expected before the end of 2018.
An Apple spokesperson informed AppleInsider at the time of the portal's announcement that the implementation of the EU law corresponds with the company's privacy values, while at the same time giving Apple an opportunity to provide more control over personal data. Though there were ways to acquire, correct, and delete data via various online tools, or by calling AppleCare, Apple noted the initiative consolidates the activities into one portal.