How to request a copy of your data from Apple

Apple recently updated their privacy policy to allow their customers in the United States and other countries to get a digital copy of their data, in a bold move to be more transparent with their consumers. 

Apple

We applaud Apple for being a strong advocate for their customer’s rights due to the sensitive issue of companies handling customer data. If you are a resident of the countries covered by Apple, you can now request them for a copy of your data.

The data privacy request page states that any data you feel might be missing is because it lacks a link to your Apple ID or was for a short duration and has since been removed from their servers. It might also be possible that it was not personally identifiable. Some data is stored in an end-to-end encrypted format that even Apple themselves won’t be able to access.

How to request for your data from Apple

The process is fairly simple and straightforward.

  • Sign in to your Apple ID from any device with a web browser. You can also directly go to privacy.apple.com.
  • Scroll down to Data & Privacy settings.
  • Choose Manage your Data and Privacy.
  • Navigate to Get a copy of your data and complete the process by selecting Get started.

Users will be asked to verify your account credentials to ensure the account holder is the one requesting their data. Once verification is complete, users will be provided with download links to their data. The data will be available for download on the page for 14 days. After that, it will be removed and a new request will have to be made to download it again.

All data is available in different formats. Photos, videos and documents will work with their respective applications while contacts, calendars, bookmarks and mail are in .VCF, .ICS, .HTML, and .EML formats. App usage data is provided through a spreadsheet that can be opened in Excel, but you can also opt for it to be provided in .JSON, .CSV, or PDF format. It’s always good to make sure you have compatible apps ready to open these formats before you request your data. 

If you don’t see the option to download your data, it means that the feature is not available in your country or region yet. Apple plans on adding the feature to more countries in the coming months, so you might have to wait for a while.