Apple debuts new privacy website

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Apple debuted a new website on Tuesday aimed at informing customers on how the company uses their data.

The company has been positioning itself as a bastion of digital privacy as user data in the industry is increasingly being shared with advertisers and, sometimes, law enforcement.

“When you pay for groceries, message a friend, track a workout, or share a photo, you shouldn’t have to worry about your information falling into the wrong hands,” the company says on the website. “The personal data on your devices should be protected and never shared without your permission.”

The website explains, at a level more granular than many of its competitors, the privacy protections that Apple says are built into its applications.

For services such as Apple Music and Siri, which send information about users to servers in order to personalize their responses, the company says it uses “only the necessary data to help create the best experience for you, whether you’re using Maps to locate a restaurant or Apple Music to discover a new artist.”

“And we never sell your data," it adds.

The company also touts its encryption policies in products such as iMessage and commerce platform Apple Pay.

“We also refuse to add a backdoor into any of our products because that undermines the protections we’ve built in,” the company says.

In recent months, there has been haggling in Washington over whether tech companies should build code into their products that law enforcement could use to access user data.

The website is part of an effort by Apple to market its commitment to privacy and security at a time when users are especially concerned about the safety of their data. In doing so, Apple is drawing a sharp comparison with rivals Google and Facebook, which make much of their revenue from advertisers keen on targeting their users.

Google has its own website explaining how it uses user data.

“Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter posted to Apple’s website. “We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t 'monetize' the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.”