Technology Apple claims its data-gathering method doesn’t invade your privacy — much

12:22  07 december  2017
12:22  07 december  2017 Source:   MSN

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Survey: Data Analysts Spend More Time Gathering Data Than Analyzing It.

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Apple today published a paper on its Machine Learning Journal which addressed the topic of differential privacy, and how it can be used to protect user privacy in a time when every business needs to gather increasing amounts of data. This method addressed the fundamental quandary Apple and companies like it face: how to improve user experience, which involves collecting data, without sacrificing privacy.

The company proposes the use of local differential privacy, instead of central — in other words, the individual user’s device uses noise to mix up any data before it’s received by a central server. According to the paper, when enough people sending in their data, the noise averages out and leaves usable information behind.

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This tech gathers anonymized data from iOS and macOS devices. Apple explains the process in its report Using local differential privacy techniques, Apple ensures that it can get the best data possible without invading the privacy of the users.

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Some of the use cases for the algorithm include identifying new words, figuring out which emoji people are using the most, and finding out what websites put the most strain on Safari.

Differential privacy isn’t without its critics, however. According to Wired, studies suggest even users who opt into differential privacy are still not protected enough, and Apple is obfuscating just how much it mines from individual users.

You can read Apple’s full paper, with all the nitty-gritty details, here.

HomeKit is the latest Apple product to have a serious security flaw .
A zero-day vulnerability with Apple's HomeKit exposed users' smart door locks and garage-door openers to hackers, 9to5Mac reports. The serious security issues have already been fixed via a server-side patch by Apple, and an update to iOS 11.2 is coming in the near future to fix any broken functionality. The site reports that a “HomeKit vulnerability in the current version of iOS 11.2 has been demonstrated to 9to5Mac that allows unauthorized control of accessories including smart locks and garage door openers.

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