Apple has eased its grip over customer data in the U.S. market by launching a privacy portal that explains how Apple users will be able to download their own data.
This move comes months after Apple rolled out a similar service for EU customers as part of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation rules that kicked in earlier this year.
Here are three quick steps to how you can do it:
1. Log in to privacy.apple.com with your Apple ID and password. You may also need to enter your two-factor authentication code if you have it set up.
2. When you land on the Data and Privacy page, you'll be asked to choose which types of data (e.g. iCloud Notes, Game Center activity, Apple ID account and device information, iCloud Contacts, etc.) you want to download. You may then choose to select specific types of data such as calendar appointments, music streaming preference, address book contacts, etc. or simply hit "Select all" to download all the data.
3. Apple will then verify your account and whether you're the account holder by asking you several bits of information. Once Apple verifies your information, your data will be ready for download and you'll receive a notification. Remember, however, that you have up to two weeks to download the data, which will be in .zip file.
Until now, Apple customers could only get their data by contacting Apple directly.
Earlier in May, when Apple launched the online privacy portal, the company allowed U.S. customers to only correct their data or delete their Apple accounts.
This is a big move for Apple, which is trying to take the direction of greater consumer data transparency and respect for customer privacy. The company, which is more privacy conscious than most major tech companies, left messages across its apps earlier this year telling its customers how their data is being handled.
Apple also rolled out an updated privacy page on its website today, detailing what data it does and does not store. The privacy page also details how Apple uses the anonymously collected data, encourages customers to turn on two-factor notification and opt out of targeted ads and notifications.