You can now download your Apple user data- here’s how


As other tech giants face increasing scrutiny over privacy, Apple is continuing to try to position itself as its champion.
Apple this week launched a privacy portal for U.S. users. From there, they can now download the data the company has on them, something European users have been able to do since May, when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect there.
With the portal (find it at, it's easier to see in one place the Apple user data available for download, which includes app activity, documents, photos, videos, contacts, calendars and bookmarks.
The company also refreshed its privacy pages, giving more explanation about its products, services and the personal information associated with them, ahead of the ability to pre-order its newest iPhones on Friday.
Facebook users have been able to download their data for some time, too. But as it offers more transparency, Apple the hardware maker is also seeking to differentiate itself from companies such as Facebook.
"Whether you're taking a photo, asking Siri a question, or getting directions, you can do it knowing that Apple doesn't gather your personal information to sell to advertisers or other organizations," the company says on its privacy page.
That's in line with what Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized earlier this year, at the height of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. Cook said in March: "The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer _ if our customer was our product. We've elected not to do that."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Cook's comments "glib," defended Facebook's ad-based model as a way the company can help connect "everyone in the world," and took a swipe at Apple charging a premium for its products.
A month later, Cook repeated his criticism of companies that rely on advertising during a commencement speech at Duke University.