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Long iPhone Contract Hides Non-personal Data Tracking

If you are an iPhone owner and took the time to read through the contract you signed with AT&T, you may have realized two interesting facts.

For starters, the iPhone contract is much longer than the standard AT&T contract. Apple breaks the contract down into six sections, detailing separate agreements for AT&T's service, the iPhone software, the iTunes software, use of Google Maps and Youtube, and, finally, getting user consent that email correspondence from Apple "will satisfy any legal communication requirements". While a long contract may not seem shocking, it appears to be a growing trend in which companies include long contracts or E.U.L.A's (End User License Agreements) in, what would appear to be, an attempt to convince people to skip over the minor details.

It's one of those "minor details" that has a few people up in arms and brings us to the second fact found within the Apple iPhone contract. Section 4 of the iPhone Software License Agreement reads as follows:

4. Consent to Use of Non-Personal Data You agree that Apple and its subsidiaries may collect and use technical and related information, including but not limited to technical information about your iPhone, computer, system and application software, and peripherals, that is gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, product support and other services to you (if any) related to the iPhone Software, and to verify compliance with the terms of this License. Apple may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify you, to improve our products or to provide services or technologies to you.

Now, I'm not here to tell you that Apple is spying on you and already knows your great grandfather's social security number and shoe size, however, it does bring up an interesting point: If the contract were shorter and this information were more readily presented, what would potential customers have to say? The most consistent replies on the Neowin Forums on any matter of privacy are either consistently of the "I have nothing to hide" ideology or the idea that "it's an unnecessary invasion of privacy". Is it as clear cut as that? Does anyone even care anymore, one way or the other?

News source: Wired.com
View: AT&T Service Agreement | iPhone Terms of Service
Link: Forum Discussion (Thanks dhan)

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