As the saying goes, “If you are not paying, you are product“. Apple’s Yosemite OS tracks and collects your Spotlight searches, sending the results to themselves and others, including Microsoft. Apple says their intrusion is harmless and anonymous, but we only have Apple’s word for that. The fact is, it’s not an opt-in process. Most users won’t even know about it, even though Apple does disclose the new practice. I think they should have asked permission. I chose to disable the Spotlight data collection. Here’s how …
This is a Washington Post clip about Spotlight. It is a bit of self-serving fear-mongering popular with struggling news organizations these days, but Apple left itself open for it. Below the clip: Apple’s response.
We are absolutely committed to protecting our users’ privacy and have built privacy right into our products. For Spotlight Suggestions we minimize the amount of information sent to Apple. Apple doesn’t retain IP addresses from users’ devices. Spotlight blurs the location on the device so it never sends an exact location to Apple. Spotlight doesn’t use a persistent identifier, so a user’s search history can’t be created by Apple or anyone else. Apple devices only use a temporary anonymous session ID for a 15-minute period before the ID is discarded.