Oct 202014
 October 20, 2014  Posted by  Business, Featured News

Rick Forno of InfoWarrior noted this concerning entry on github:

This repository provides a corpus of network communications automatically sent to Apple by OS X Yosemite; we’re using this dataset to explore how Yosemite shares user data with Apple.

The provided data was collected using our Net Monitor toolkit; more information regarding usage and methodology is provided below.


The following occur with all privacy options enabled — including disabling analytics (i.e., Diagnostics and Usage Data).

About this Mac

When the user selects ‘About this Mac’ from the Apple menu, Yosemite phones home and s_vi, a unique analytics identifier, is included in the request. (si_vi is used by Adobe/Omniture’s analytics software).

If we search the logs for the cookie value, we can find:

  • Where the identifying cookie was first set — when the user visited http://www.apple.com in Safari, with an expiration of two years.
  • Where else the cookie is sent to Apple — for example, when both Spotlight and Help phone home.

DuckDuckGo for Privacy

Having read DuckDuckGo’s privacy statements, you might decide to switch Safari’s default search to DuckDuckGo. If we enter a new search in Safari, we can then search the logged data to see who the search terms are actually sent to.

The logs show that a copy of your Safari searches are still sent to Appleeven when selecting DuckDuckGo as your search provider, and ‘Spotlight Suggestions’ are disabled in System Preferences > Spotlight.

Read more on GitHub.

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