Last week, Apple was alleged to collect users' data despite turning off the analytics setting on iPhones. The Cupertino company is now again on a hotseat after the same researchers revealed that personalized IDs may also be sent to Apple. Crucially, these data could include more sensitive information like your name, birthday, and email address tied to the iCloud account.
A group of researchers called Mysk have dug further into the analytics codes that Apple continues to collect even when you opt-out sharing the data. According to them, a specific "dsId" or Directory Services Identifier is linked to your iCloud account. Surprisingly, they argued that this DSID is identifiable and associated with any data in your iCloud such as full name and email address.
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🚨 New Findings:— Mysk 🇨🇦🇩🇪 (@mysk_co) November 21, 2022
Apple’s analytics data include an ID called “dsId”. We were able to verify that “dsId” is the “Directory Services Identifier”, an ID that uniquely identifies an iCloud account. Meaning, Apple’s analytics can personally identify you 👇 pic.twitter.com/3DSUFwX3nV
More importantly, the team is confirming that the previous reports of analytics data in the App Store that are harvested by Apple contain DSID. This means that not only were the user's behaviors and activities sent to Apple's servers, but they were able to personalize each report. In addition to the App Store, the practice is also common for other official apps of Apple.
The recent findings have put Apple at the center of controversy given the Cupertino company is known to have a solid standpoint in protecting users' privacy. It could well be distinguished Apple has started to change some of its tracking policies after they introduce ads to iOS 16 and iPadOS ecosystems.
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