Apple is claiming that it tracks its device owners’ calls and emails in order to “prevent fraud” by assigning a “value score” to each iPhone and iPad user.
The update to the iTunes policy 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.
A previously unreported user rating system was also recently revealed to be in use at Facebook, where each Facebook user is assigned a trustworthiness score on a scale. The Washington Post reports that this system was developed by Facebook over the past year so that Facebook could measure the trustworthiness of users in order to pick out malicious actors on the platform.
Tessa Lyons, the product manager in charge of fighting fake news on the Facebook platform, said that the reputation assessment system was developed as part of Facebook’s methods to crack down on misinformation. Facebook previously relied on user reports to determine if misinformation was being spread, but some users began reporting information that they didn’t agree with as untrue, leading to issues for Facebook moderators.
Lyons said that it was “not uncommon for people to tell us something is false simply because they disagree with the premise of a story or they’re intentionally trying to target a particular publisher.” Lyons said that the trustworthiness score between zero and one isn’t meant to be an absolute indicator of a users trustworthiness, but rather the score is one of a thousand new behavioral measurements that Facebook takes into account when reviewing reported content.
Whether Facebook’s value score will be taken into account when dealing with issues with Apple remains to be seen.