Apple ID & Privacy

Apple ID is designed to protect your information and enable you to choose what you share.


  • When you sign in with your Apple ID, you will enable services such as iCloud, the App Store, iMessage, and Find My on this iPhone.
  • Certain data, including your contacts, calendars, photos, documents, health, activity, and other app data, will be sent to Apple to store and back up on your behalf.
  • In addition, your device will be associated with your Apple ID to provide you with better service and support.

Your Apple ID and all Apple services are designed from the ground up to protect your privacy. We work hard to collect only the data we need to make your experience better. When we do collect data, we believe it’s important for you to know what we’re collecting and why we need it, so you can make informed choices.

An Apple ID is the personal account you use to access Apple services like iCloud, the App Store and other Apple online stores, iMessage, and FaceTime, and to access your content across all your devices and the web. Your Apple ID includes the information you use to sign in, as well as all the contact, payment, and security details, such as trusted phone numbers or security questions, that you use across Apple services. Apple retains your device’s name, serial number, and other hardware identifiers to provide you with better service and support, including as a convenience to display the warranty status of your device and to check your eligibility for service offers. You can edit your Apple ID information and view a list of your devices on your Apple ID account page at appleid.apple.com.

When you sign in with your Apple ID you will enable services such as iCloud, the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, FaceTime, and Find My on this iPhone. Your Apple ID account information will be used with each service and certain data from your device, including your contacts, calendars, photos, documents, health, activity, Safari tabs, and other app data, will be sent to Apple to store and back up on your behalf.

iCloud and Privacy

Signing in to iCloud

When you use iCloud, certain data you store on your device will be automatically sent to and stored by Apple. This allows you to access your data on all your iCloud-enabled devices or computers (“devices”) automatically. This data may include:

• Contacts

• Calendars

• Reminders

• Bookmarks

• Safari tabs

• Health data

• Home data

• Notes

• Photos

• Documents

• Wallet data

• Keychain and passwords

• Device and account settings

• Data from third-party apps that use iCloud

iCloud Backup is also enabled to help ensure you have a current backup of the data on your device in case you need to replace or restore it.

You can adjust which iCloud features are enabled and what data is sent to iCloud from Settings on your device at any time.

iCloud Data Security

iCloud protects your information by encrypting it when it’s in transit, storing it in iCloud in an encrypted format, and using secure tokens for authentication. For certain information, Apple uses end-to-end encryption. This means that, by design, only you can access this information, and only on devices where you’re signed in to iCloud. No one else, not even Apple, can access end-to-end encrypted information. For more information on iCloud Data Security, see https://support.apple.com/HT202303.

In some cases, your iCloud data may be stored using third-party partners’ servers; however, Apple never provides encryption keys to any third parties.

iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain keeps your Safari website usernames and passwords, credit card information, and Wi-Fi network information up to date and available across all your devices. It can also store the account information you use for Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Messages, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other internet accounts and automatically add this information to all of your devices.

iCloud Keychain uses end-to-end encryption and is designed so that only you can access this information and only on devices where you’re signed in to iCloud. No one else, not even Apple, can access your iCloud keychain data. You can choose to turn off iCloud Keychain in your iCloud settings at any time.

iCloud Backup

When you use iCloud Backup, your backup may include photos, videos, messages (iMessage, SMS, and MMS), Health and other app data, location settings (such as location-based reminders that you have set up), Visual Voicemail, device settings, device characteristics, and other data from your iOS and iPadOS device depending on your Settings.

You can stop iCloud from backing up your app data for a particular app by going to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups, selecting your iOS or iPadOS device in the Backups section, and tapping to turn off the apps for which you’d like to disable backup.

You can turn off iCloud Backup entirely from iCloud settings and use Finder (macOS Catalina 10.15 or later) or iTunes (macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier) to back up your iOS or iPadOS device to your computer. To completely remove your backup data from iCloud, you can delete your individual backups before turning off iCloud Backup. Otherwise, the backup data will be retained for up to 180 days.

Sharing Data with iCloud

If you use iCloud to share files either publicly or privately in Notes, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and certain third-party apps, Apple will store and have access to the shared file. Your first and last name associated with your account and the file name will be available to anyone who has access to the sharing link, regardless of whether your share is private or public. The identities of private share participants will not be made available to anyone who has not been invited to and accepted the private share.

iCloud and Apps

Some apps use iCloud to store data and content you provide to the app, so you can access the data across all your iCloud-enabled devices. The app may choose to store some or all of your data in iCloud. Third-party apps can request to look you up, so that other users of that application can see your first and last name when those users search by Apple ID.

You can stop an app from storing data in iCloud by turning off the app. To do so, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud, and tap to turn off apps shown in Apps Using iCloud.

Find My

When you sign in and enable iCloud on your device, certain features of Find My are enabled automatically. These include the ability to play a sound on your device, remotely lock and display a message on it, or remotely erase it. Your devices with a security chip will also be protected with Activation Lock, and cannot be erased and reactivated without your password. Enabling Find My on your iPhone will automatically enable it on any paired Apple Watch. You can also enable Find My for an Apple Watch, which will enable it on your paired iPhone.

When you use Find My, your device’s location, as well as information about your device and your account will be sent to and retained by Apple so we can provide you with the service. Your device’s location is sent to Apple only if you actively request the location of a device or accessory. Apple retains location information and makes it accessible to you for 24 hours, after which it is deleted. When you have Location Services enabled, you can also choose to share your device’s current location using Find My and Share My Location. When using these features, your location is sent to Apple only if it is actively requested by a friend you are sharing with, and retained for two hours, after which it is deleted. Find My and Share My Location are enabled only when you actively choose to share your location with someone else.

Find My can help you locate your devices on a map if you have enabled Location Services. If you choose to enable the Send Last Location feature, your device’s last known location will be automatically sent to Apple any time your device’s battery reaches a critically low level.

Find My can help find devices even if they are not connected to the internet by using the Find My network, a crowdsourced network of participating Apple devices. Devices in the Find My network use Bluetooth wireless technology to detect missing devices or compatible items nearby and report their approximate location back to the owner. The interaction is end-to-end encrypted, and Apple cannot see the location of any offline device or reporting device. When your device participates in the Find My network it can both be located by the network and anonymously help locate other missing devices. You can choose to have your device not participate in the Find My network by going to Settings > [your name] > Find My and tapping to disable Find My network.

You can turn off Find My and Activation Lock on your iOS or iPadOS device by going to Settings > [your name] > Find My > Find My iPhone or Find My iPad, and tapping to turn off Find My iPhone or Find My iPad, and on your Mac by going to System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud and deselecting Find My Mac in the list of Apps on this Mac Using iCloud.

Apple Services That Require iCloud

To use Apple services like Apple Pay, Activity sharing, Home, Handoff, Universal Clipboard, and Unlock with Apple Watch, you must be signed in to iCloud on your device. Apple uses your iCloud plan to verify your eligibility to set up and use Secure Camera Recording in the Home app. Apple can’t access the content of your camera recordings. You do not need to use all iCloud features and can turn off any iCloud features you don’t want to use in iCloud settings on your device.

Signing Out of iCloud

If you want to stop using iCloud on your iOS or iPadOS device and any paired Apple Watch, you can sign out of iCloud by going to Settings > [your name] and tapping Sign Out. To stop using iCloud on your Mac, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > Overview and sign out of iCloud. Your Apple ID password may be required.

Communicating with You

Apple may use information about your account, such as the Apple products you own and your subscriptions to Apple services, to send you communications about iCloud and other Apple products, services, and offers that may be of interest to you, including Apple One. If you purchase an Apple One subscription, we may send you emails and push notifications about the features of each of the services for which you have subscribed. You can change your email preferences and opt out of receiving these emails by going to appleid.apple.com.

Family Sharing

Family Sharing lets you share certain content, location, subscriptions and screen usage information among family members; the family organizer can choose which shared features to enable. If Family Sharing is enabled for Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Arcade, or Apple News+, family members will continue to sign in to each service using their own Apple IDs, keeping their individual libraries and recommendations private, while taking advantage of the family plan. Similarly, enabling Family Sharing for iCloud storage gives each family member access to the family storage plan, while keeping individual accounts and files separate.

If Purchase Sharing is enabled, members of your family will automatically be able to access many of your past and future App Store, Apple Books, and Apple Music purchases, unless you choose to hide those purchases. To hide purchases, you can hide individual iTunes, Apple Books, and App Store purchases, or disable Share My Purchases within your personal Family Sharing settings; the family organizer will continue to receive receipts for purchases made in the App Store, Apple Books, and Apple Music even if you have hidden your purchases.

If you choose to share your location with your family, all family members will automatically be able to see the location of all your devices in the Find My app so they can help you locate a missing device or see your current location on a map. You can manage or turn off location sharing with individual family members in Find My settings on your device.

If you are the family organizer and enable Screen Time for Family, you will be able to view certain information about your family’s device usage. The family organizer can also choose to set Screen Time limits for the Family, which will be automatically enforced for children. The family organizer can grant permission to family members to view Screen Time information for other family members.

iMessage and FaceTime

When you sign in with your Apple ID on your iPhone, you will be signed in to iMessage and FaceTime automatically. Your Apple ID or phone numbers will be shown to the people you contact, and people can reach you using your Apple ID, and email addresses or phone numbers on your account. You can learn more about iMessage and FaceTime and Privacy by going to Settings > Messages and tapping About iMessage and FaceTime & Privacy.

iTunes and App Store and Music

When you sign in with your Apple ID on your iPhone, you will be signed in to the iTunes Store, App Store, and Apple Music automatically so that you can make purchases or begin using Apple Music quickly and easily. Any purchases you choose to make will be recorded in our systems so you can redownload them at any time. If you use Apple Music, your listening history may be retained and used to help provide personalized recommendations in For You. You can choose not to share your listening history from Apple Music settings.

If iTunes Match is available in your region and you use iTunes Match, iCloud will collect information about media in your iTunes library, and either match media to songs currently available in the iTunes Store or upload songs that cannot be matched, after which those songs can be accessed by your eligible devices.

Payment Methods, Gift Cards, and Adding Funds to Apple ID Balance

To make purchases from App Store, iTunes, Music, and more, you must add a valid payment method to your Apple ID. To add a payment method on iOS, go to Settings > [your name] > Payment & Shipping, tap Add Payment Method, and add relevant payment details. You may add payment details by manually entering information or taking a picture of your payment card. If you choose to add payment details by taking a picture of your payment card, your device will pull the relevant information from the image to populate the required fields; the image will not be seen or stored by Apple. Apple collects and stores the payment method details that you provide, including account number and expiration date, to carry out your purchases, comply with law, and to prevent fraud. You may also provide Apple with a billing and shipping address, which may be used for marketing and analytics purposes, as well as to comply with law and prevent fraud.

If you have enabled Apple Pay, Apple will also check whether any Apple Pay payment methods are eligible to be added as a payment method on file to your Apple ID and display those payment methods below Found in Wallet. When you conduct a transaction with your Apple ID, Apple may also check whether any Apple ID payment methods on file are eligible for Apple Pay. If so, to help safeguard your payment information, Apple may enable Apple Pay for that payment method. You can modify your payment methods at any time by going to Settings > [your name] > Payment & Shipping.

You may purchase an Apple gift card using a payment method associated with your Apple ID and share the gift card with a recipient by providing Apple with their email address, your name, and the gift card amount. You may also enter a message if you so choose. Apple will use recipient information for purposes of gift card sales and redemptions, to comply with law, and to prevent fraud.

You may also redeem an Apple gift card by applying the gift card value to your Apple ID balance. When you redeem an Apple gift card, information about the gift card will be associated with your Apple ID balance and may be used by Apple to comply with law and to prevent fraud. Certain information about your gift card redemption, such as the number of gift cards that you have redeemed, may also be used to personalize your redemption experience and communications from Apple to you. You may opt out of use of gift card information for personalization by going to iTunes Store, scrolling to the bottom, tapping Apple ID > View Apple ID and tapping to turn off Personalized Recommendations.

Usage Data

We also collect data on your use of iCloud to provide and improve the quality of the service. To help address customer issues if they arise, some of this data may be associated with your Apple ID. We may use your IP address to determine the city and country from which you are accessing the service, but we do not retain it.

At all times, information collected by Apple will be treated in accordance with Apple’s Privacy Policy, which can be found at www.apple.com/privacy.

 

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

Published Date: