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Apple tries to assuage privacy fears, puts focus on security


(Reuters) — Apple Inc. is making strong efforts to assuage users' fears after taking the heat in the celebrity photo leak scandal that emerged over the Labor Day weekend.

Apple CEO Tim Cook provided details of how the company handles users' personal information and reassured customers about Apple's commitment toward their privacy, in a letter published on its website.

"We don't build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don't 'monetize' the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don't read your email or your messages to get information to market to you," Mr. Cook wrote in the letter.

Apple has never worked with any government agency to give access to its products, services and servers, and would never do that in the future, Mr. Cook added.

After the leak of racy celebrity photos, cyber security experts and mobile developers called out inadequacies on Apple's and, more generally, cloud-services security.

Some security experts faulted Apple for failing to make its devices and software easier to secure through two-factor authentication, which requires a separate verification code after users log in initially.

Mr. Cook, in his letter, encouraged customers to use the two-step verification process and said it now protects all the data stored in iCloud along with protecting Apple ID account information.

Mr. Cook said users would get updates on privacy at the company at least once a year and about any significant change to its policies.

Last week, Apple unveiled a watch, two larger iPhones and a mobile payments service in an effort to revive the technology company's reputation as a wellspring of innovation.