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Have an iPhone and/or iPad? Keep your contacts and calendar synchronized to a computer locally, so that the information is only shared among devices you control and is never sent over the Internet? Concerned about Apple harvesting data (regardless of what the legally engineered privacy statement says) on who you know, who you're related to, who you work with, data on exactly where you go every day, when you arrive there and leave, what you're doing? Concerned about other companies getting some of this data? Online hackers? Don't want the National Security Agency to get it and share it with other government agencies, the kind of data that Edward Snowden revealed the NSA specifically goes after, that they claim you don't have any 4th Amendment protection to keep private?

Too bad for you. With the new computer operating system, "Mavericks," Apple now demands that you hand over all that personal information to them, that you run it through iCloud.

By Molly Wood, Oct. 27, 2013
The relationship between your computer and your iDevices is about to get a lot less personal.

Or, you could not synchronize it. You could, you know, lose the functionality that a Palm device from a over decade ago had. Render dumb and pointless the electronics that you've spent a fair bit of money buying and a significant chunk of time configuring.

In now demanding this from you, Apple was too cowardly to even announce the demand. They let you fumble around thinking that there's some kind of bug or glitch or that you messed something up, until maybe you figured out what's going on. "It just works," they say, so long as you just do what they tell you to do and expose your private information to exploitation. Or, in this case, do what they didn't tell you.

There may be work-arounds, for those with nearly professional-level information technology skills. Perhaps there will soon be a third-party patch in the form of an app for that too.

But as it stands, this is Apple's worst attack on your privacy (that is, other than the small matter of their direct and indirect collusion with the NSA!) since they let any app steal your address book and calendar without your permission, something that they didn't care about until there was public anger over it among the user community.

You can register your reaction to this decision as well.

:: ::

UPDATE March 30, 2013: There is a way to synchronize iPhone calendar and contacts locally, without resorting to command-line system changes.

Security Spread
Setting up your own OS X Sync Server
UPDATE May 19, 2013: Well, lookee there. Apple has restored local sync of contacts and calendars in its latest software updates.
Apple releases OS X 10.9.3 with improved 4K support, restored USB sync
iCloud-circumventing local sync makes a return, also requires iTunes update.
By Andrew Cunningham, May 15 2014
In The Loop/The Apple Ecosystem, Ars Technica
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 0-)

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:27:20 AM PST

  •  droid user here but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    since a very close friend of mine has an i-phone, i gotta what's on the cloud limited to address & tel number? or are texts & email content accessible?

    Even if it's limited to contact info & not communication content, seems like this affects those who simply know someone with an iphone as well.

    "Don't call me, I'm busy changing my definition of privacy!" Heh.

  •  If you think this is bad (7+ / 0-)

    You should research what Android and Google does with your data. Or how hackable and insecure Windows is. Or how delusional about assume security most Linux users are.

    It's pretty simple, actually:

    - If you want to rule out any possible access to your information, you need air space between your computer and the internet. That is the only fool-proof method. End of story.

    - If you want to slow down the feds (and your own internet use), use Tor 100% of the time you are online without exception (because using it some of the time tags you as a user inviting feds to plant a hack) and you are reasonably certain to secure your data unless NSA decides you are interesting and they hack you.

    Otherwise, if you are going to use any web based services, any social media including DailyKos, any unsecured web server and quite a few that are only secured beyond the firewall (numerical majority) then assume you information is NOT SECURE.

    I am dead serious. You are getting too upset about this unless you follow the rules I state above, and very few people do this.

    At least you can say this for Apple:

    - they encrypt all transactions and have for years, long, long before Google and Facebook got on the bandwagon.

    - they don't sell your data, but surely they use it internally as anyone you provide data to surely does.

    In the world, very few network servers are as secure as most people think, including a lot of very vain and foolish IT workers.

    It's just a fact. Accept it. And act accordingly, as you wish.

    •  Even for the typical user (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, wilderness voice, BachFan

      who isn't going to do anything too unconventional, there are steps to take that can keep some of your data out of an automated dragnet. If it's on the cloud, anyone who breaks into that cloud service or its access routes can harvest many people's data at once.

      On one's own computer, at least it takes an attacker getting onto that computer specifically for there to be a data breach. So, there's utility in staying off the cloud.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:32:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Commercial Clouds (5+ / 0-)

        Are simply not secure.

        And they won't be remotely so until PFS is implemented on a massive scale to secure basic internet transactions.

        People should not have the expectation of security at this point, and if there is a silver lining to the present mess it is that people realize that.

        We can never change the behavior of the typical user.

        Has to become more embedded in the system of it doesn't happen at all.

  •  In a similar vein: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, quill, SuWho, wilderness voice
    Apple Shareholders Fight NSA Bulk Surveillance
    By davidl, Firedoglake, Nov. 12, 2013
    Apple users, fans, employees and especially shareholders —

    Apple needs our help resisting intrusive bulk surveillance of its users by the NSA and other international spies.

    A group of concerned shareholders is working with Apple to develop concrete ways to help.  Collaborating with Restore the Fourth, we’ve submitted a draft shareholder proposal and have begun engaging with executives there amid a new Apple commitment to transparency.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:24:21 AM PST

  •  I don't synch and I don't use the cloud and I (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrangeMike, boadicea, SuWho, BachFan

    got used to having software I don't want or use a long time ago. I was a bit annoyed to find that I couldn't put games and a music program in the trash because it is supposedly integrated in the operating system.  But, not using stuff and ignoring notices to upgrade is quite possible.
    The Constitution, including its amendments, is addressed to agents of government. It authorizes and it prohibits, but compliance is up to the agents and the vigilance of those who employ them, we the people.

    Some people don't even have a sense of privacy and consider the requirement to wear clothing an imposition.

  •  This is exactly why (4+ / 0-)

    I do not let Icloud download, no matter how many times they ask.

    I'm looking for a substitute for Itunes as well, for listening to my podcasts, because I do not WANT to live on the cloud, tyvm.

    For real Texas Kaos, you want, not .com. Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us

    by boadicea on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 06:55:12 AM PST

  •  Discovered this only after I upgraded (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, SuWho, wilderness voice, BachFan

    I avoid using iCloud because I've lost calendars in the past thinking I was doing one thing and then discovering that I lost stuff with no chance of recovery. I like having information stored on my hard drive where I know I can find or retrieve or recover. It seems ridiculous on Apple's part to remove SyncServices from Mavericks which now makes it impossible for me to plug in my iPhone and sync contacts and calendars through a USB cable or to sync wirelessly when my phone is sitting 3 feet from my computer.

    The reading I've done on this shows up various types of objections besides the overall generic privacy issue. Several people on forums have posted that they are Europeans, not American citizens, and so they question what rights they have legally to their information if it is stored on American servers. Another interesting comment was from a physician (psychotherapist, I think) who believed that keeping his confidential calendars and contacts in the Cloud violated his responsibility to keep this information private. And separate from the privacy issue is the necessity to use bandwidth for syncing. Some people live in rural areas with spotty access, while others travel abroad and do not wish to use expensive roaming time for constant syncing.

    I hear that you can download OS X Server and create your own "cloud", but I have no idea how to do that.

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