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Is Apple Snooping On Your Every Word? OS X Yosemite Searches

Is Apple Snooping On Your Every Word? OS X Yosemite Searches

Everyone already assumes that searches did inside a web browser, effectively sends those queries to the search engine of their choosing. No big secret there.  But, if you installed the new Mac OSX Yosemite, you need to be aware of a search-snooping feature activated by default by Apple.  

Apple describes the new “feature” on their website as an effort to include search results in Spotlight from iTunes, its App Store, and the Internet. If the user has enabled “Location Services” on his or her Mac, the computer’s location will also be sent to Apple.  They say it's, “to make suggestions more relevant to you.” Spotlight searches will also be shared with Microsoft’s Bing search engine.  These searches also include any keywords used to locate files on your computer.  So even if you aren't conducting internet searches per se, that search query will also be sent to Apple servers.

Luckily, this option can be switched off. In Mac OS X’s System Preferences, the functions can be found under “Spotlight” and then “Search Results.” From there you need to disable “Spotlight Suggestions,” “Bookmarks and History,” and “Bing Web Searches.” If you use Safari you will then need to disable the same “Spotlight Suggestions” function in the browser (under “Preferences” and then “Search”) to avoid having terms you type into its address bar shared with Apple by default too.