Ah, the iPad. The tablet that changed how we watch TV in bed, how children eat dinner at restaurants, and how our parents take pictures. From the little iPad Mini to the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, there is likely no easier to use computer device known to the human race.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Apple does a pretty good job with privacy and security as a company. Although they did recently suffer a bad security vulnerability that resulted in spyware that could allow bad actors to record calls and messages and even turn the device camera and microphone on without the user knowing. Apple did patch the security vulnerability. This is a good reminder that even the best companies can be vulnerable to high level hacking.
They say they don't share or sell your data and Apple takes special care to make sure your Siri requests aren't associated with you, which is great. Apple did face backlash in 2019 when it came to light their contractors were regularly listening in on confidential personal conversations when they were reviewing the voice assistant's recordings. Apple changed their policy so users weren't automatically opted-in to human voice review. Recently, Apple made another positive change for your Siri voice requests—many audio requests for things like setting timers or alarms or controlling music will no longer be sent over the internet to their servers, instead processing them directly on the device. This is better for your privacy.
All in all, your iPad is probably pretty secure and private as long as you remember to set up a strong passcode to keep your nosey roommate from logging in and downloading all sorts of weird apps from the app store.
Tips to protect yourself
- Set a strong passcode on your iPad
- Follow Apple's own guidelines for privacy and security
- Be careful what apps you install on your device as some apps can be privacy invasive
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number, address
If you opt-in: Fingerprint, Voice recordings
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
Apple had a recent serious security vulnerability. From Firewall Times: "In September 2021, researchers discovered that a spyware called Pegasus had infected iPhones and other Apple Devices via a ‘zero click exploit’, granting the spyware broad power over a users’ device. Once infected, the spyware could record calls and messages and even turn the device camera and microphone on without the user knowing. Pegasus was produced by the NSO Group, an Israel-based company that sells its spyware to governments such as Mexico and Saudi Arabia. Though this spyware would presumably be used to surveil terrorists and criminal enterprises, these governments have also used it to spy on activists, politicians, and journalists. As of September 13, 2021, Apple has patched the exploit."
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Apple has a bug bounty program, which means that anyone who finds a security issue and discloses it responsibly may get paid. https://developer.apple.com/security-bounty/
Some of Apple's AI research can be found at https://machinelearning.apple.com/.
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
Got a comment? Let us hear it.