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Apple Requested ‘Zero’ Personal Data In Deals With Facebook, CEO Tim Cook Says

Requested zero personal data from Facebook: Apple CEO

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Tim Cook
Apple Requested 'Zero' Personal Data In Deals With Facebook, CEO Tim Cook Says. (Wikimedia Commons)

Apple neither requested any personal data from Facebook nor did it receive any, Apple CEO Tim Cook said while responding to a New York Times report that claimed that the social networking giant allowed about 60 device makers, including Apple and Samsung, to access personal information of users and their friends.

“We’ve never been in the data business,” Cook told National Public Radio (NPR) on Monday during the company’s annual conference for developers in San Jose, California.

“The things mentioned in the Times article about relationship statuses and all these kinds of stuff, this is so foreign to us, and not data that we have ever received at all or requested — zero,” Cook was quoted as saying.

Even before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones, Facebook had data-sharing partnerships with the device makers, The New York Times report said citing company officials, adding that most of the deals remain in effect.

The deals raise concerns about the company’s privacy protections and compliance with a 2011 consent decree with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it added.

“What we did was we integrated the ability to share in the operating system, make it simple to share a photo and that sort of thing,” Cook added.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“So it’s a convenience for the user. We weren’t in the data business. We’ve never been in the data business,” he said.

Facebook is already under scrutiny after the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal revealed in March how the political consultancy firm had misused data of millions of Facebook users.

The social network, however, defended on Sunday the pacts with the device makers saying that these partnerships do not raise privacy concerns.

Facebook said that contrary to claims by The New York Times, friends’ information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends.

“We are not aware of any abuse by these companies,” Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Vice President of Product Partnerships, said in a statement.

The social network added that the device partnerships are very different from the public APIs used by third-party developers who used the Facebook information people shared with them to build completely new experiences.

Also Read: Apple Introduces macOS Mojave

Facebook said that it had already ended 22 of the device partnerships.

A CNET report on Monday said that Senator John Thune, head of the US Senate Commerce Committee, said his committee “will be sending Facebook a letter seeking additional information” about issues including transparency and privacy risks.

“We look forward to addressing any questions the Commerce Committee may have,” a Facebook spokesman was quoted as saying.  (IANS)

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Know Which iPhone Features Will Now Be Available in MacBook Series

In addition, Apple is focusing on bringing a new Apple ID management panel to System Preferences with better support for configuring Family Sharing, similar to what is currently available in the iOS Settings app. 

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Ahead of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled for June 3, Apple is working on bringing two of its operating systems (OS), macOS and iOS, closer together by introducing several useful iPhone features to its line of MacBooks.

With the introduction of macOS 10.15 and iOS 13, the iPhone-maker is expected to unveil similar features like Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time and more on its laptops and smartphones, 9To5Mac reported on Friday.

The new version of macOS — 10.15, which has been under development for nearly two years now, would include support for Siri Shortcuts — , a feature introduced in iOS 12 that lets users create custom voice shortcuts for actions that can be executed in apps.

iPhone
Another major feature from iOS 12 that is coming to the Mac with macOS 10.15 is Screen Time — that allows users to see how much time they spend on apps and limits the amount of time that can be spent on a specific app or category of apps, such as social media. Pixabay

It is also likely that the Shortcuts app — that works with Contacts, Calendar, Maps and other iPhone apps using over 300 built-in actions — would be made available on macOS.

“According to sources, engineers are also working on bringing the assistant on macOS closer to its iOS counterpart by porting over features such as the ability to set timers and alarms and ask about air quality, currently unavailable on the Mac,” the report added.

Another major feature from iOS 12 that is coming to the Mac with macOS 10.15 is Screen Time — that allows users to see how much time they spend on apps and limits the amount of time that can be spent on a specific app or category of apps, such as social media.

Apple
It is also likely that the Shortcuts app — that works with Contacts, Calendar, Maps and other iPhone apps using over 300 built-in actions — would be made available on macOS. 
Pixabay

In addition, Apple is focusing on bringing a new Apple ID management panel to System Preferences with better support for configuring Family Sharing, similar to what is currently available in the iOS Settings app.

Also Read: Student Project into Space, NASA Comes Up With Chicago Planetarium
The iMessage effects such as confetti, lasers and fireworks are also expected to come with macOS 10.15.

“Apple’s new macOS 10.15 should be announced during WWDC which starts on June 3, released as a beta for developers the same day. The final version for consumers should be available in late September or October,” the report noted. (IANS)