Apple’s latest desktop operating system, known as Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, sends location and search data of users without their knowledge to Apple’s remote servers by default whenever a user queries the desktop search tool Spotlight, which questions users’ privacy once again. The post gives a brief explanation how you can prevent Apple from collecting data.
APPLE COLLECTS USERS’ DATA AND FORWARDS IT TO MICROSOFT AS WELL
On one hand, where Apple decided to enable hard drive encryption by default, despite the FBI requests not to do so. But on the other, the company is itself putting its users’ privacy on risk. The same data Apple collects from the users’ searched term on Spotlight. Will also be forwarded to Microsoft’s Bing search engine as Apple freely admits in its terms of service.
“When you use Spotlight, your search queries, the Spotlight Suggestions you select, and related usage data will be sent to Apple,” Apple’s “About Spotlight & Privacy” document states. “If you have Location Services on your device turned on, when you make a search query to Spotlight the location of your device at that time will be sent to Apple.“
Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, which was officially released on Thursday, allows Mac users to upload and organize any file types on their own, meaning users can store any type of file they wish in iCloud drive, as long as it’s less than 15 gigabytes in size. With Yosemite, Apple is beginning to unify its desktop and mobile computing platforms.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
However, the tech giant noted within Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite’s Spotlight preferences that the users’ search terms were collected only to improve Spotlight Searches. But, if users don’t want their data collected, they can turn off Spotlight Suggestions and Bing Web searches in System Preferences, noted the company.
Download and run fix-macosx.py to prevent Apple from collecting data.
You can switch off the Spotlight search by going through step-by-step instructions for doing it, according to Fix-MacOSX.com:
Disable “Spotlight Suggestions” and “Bing Web Searches” in System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results.
Safari also has a “Spotlight Suggestions” setting that is separate from Spotlight’s “Spotlight Suggestions.“
This uses the same mechanism as Spotlight, and if left enabled. Safari will send a copy of all search queries to Apple.
You disabled “Spotlight Suggestions”, but you’ll also need to uncheck
“Include Spotlight Suggestions” in Safari > Preferences > Search.