Apple’s Using U.S. Call and Text Data to Figure Out Whether to ‘Trust’ Devices

Apple’s Using U.S. Call and Text Data to Figure Out Whether to ‘Trust’ Devices

Apple has an interesting new method for combatting fraud—administering “trust scores.”

VentureBeat noticed a new provision inside the updated U.S. iTunes Store terms and privacy disclosure that came with Monday’s release of iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12. Apple now says it will take into account certain information about how people use their iOS device or Apple TV to determine a rating for that device.

The new language, which can be found online on Apple’s iTunes Store & Privacy page, reads:

To help identify and prevent fraud, information about how you use your device, including the approximate number of phone calls or emails you send and receive, will be used to compute a device trust score when you attempt a purchase. The submissions are designed so Apple cannot learn the real values on your device. The scores are stored for a fixed time on our servers.

Editor’s Note: The Australian version of this page doesn’t contain the above language.

Apple TVs can’t be used for emails or calls, as VentureBeat points out, so we can’t say for sure what sort of information Apple may be using to determine a trust score for an Apple TV purchase. Apple did not immediately respond to a Gizmodo request for comment on the new disclosure.

This change will likely help Apple police fraudulent purchases or reviews and accounts. But now when you’re using an Apple device, Apple has another reason to keep tabs on how you’re using it—although to its credit, Apple says the info it gathers will be approximated and won’t sit there indefinitely on the company’s servers.