How to download your Apple archive
Apple has repeatedly said it doesn’t store a lot of personal information about users, and I found that to be true. If you’ve been using iTunes for a long time, however, you might be surprised by what Apple has.
You can download your own archive of this data from Apple. Here’s how:
- Scroll down to the section titled “Access to Personal Information.” It’s worth reading and says explains that Apple will provide you with a copy of the information it holds if you request it.
- Click the “Privacy Contact Form” link.
- Choose your language.
- Select “I have a question about privacy issues” from the drop-down box.
- Fill in your first and last name, email, subject and comments. I noted that I was requesting a copy of my personal information in the comments field.
- Click submit.
Now you’ll need to wait for a response.
Apple’s privacy team will reach out to request some of the same personal information above, in addition to your Apple ID, a registered product serial number and a previous AppleCare support case number. This is to verify your identity.
Then you’ll wait. It took me six days to finally get the file from Apple. A second email included a password that’s used to open the zip file, which is an added measure of security. By comparison, Facebook had my data within an hour or so, while Google took about 48 hours.
Apple stores information about you. It’s mostly related to the content you’re consuming or products you’re buying, including apps, music and books. There isn’t anything here that shows logs of my messages, specific locations, ads I’ve clicked or copies of my photos, which are some of the things that Google and Facebook have.