Apple Updates: 9 Things You May Not Know You Were Agreeing To
Each time you buy a new iPhone or update the software on your existing iOS devices, you’re agreeing to dozens of pages of terms and conditions that you probably never really scroll through, much less actually read. Apple states that it’s only licensing you software like iOS for use on your iPhone, not selling it to you. And the company’s software license agreements, like for Apple’s release of iOS 9, warn forebodingly (and in all caps):
PLEASE READ THIS SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT (“LICENSE”) CAREFULLY BEFORE USING YOUR iOS DEVICE OR DOWNLOADING THE SOFTWARE UPDATE ACCOMPANYING THIS LICENSE. BY USING YOUR iOS DEVICE OR DOWNLOADING A SOFTWARE UPDATE, AS APPLICABLE, YOU ARE AGREEING TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS LICENSE. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS LICENSE, DO NOT USE THE iOS DEVICE OR DOWNLOAD THE SOFTWARE UPDATE.
But you probably don’t have the time to read through pages and pages of terms and conditions (PDF) before you download that iOS update. So we did the dirty work for you. Read on for some of the more surprising (and humorous) things you’re agreeing to when you download an Apple update, like the update to iOS 9 for your iPhone or iPad. You won’t find any sinister revelations about your privacy, since Apple is relatively transparent about how it handles your data. But you will find some funny rules and restrictions on how you can use your iPhone and in what situations Apple absolves itself of responsibility for your actions.
1. You can’t use your iPhone to violate other people’s copyrights
Apple doesn’t want you using your iPhone to pirate movies, illegally download music, or post stolen photos to Instagram. And the company isn’t shy about its disapproval for reproducing copyrighted materials using the iPhone or the iPad. The iOS 9 software license agreement states:
The iOS Software may be used to reproduce materials so long as such use is limited to reproduction of non-copyrighted materials, materials in which you own the copyright, or materials you are authorized or legally permitted to reproduce. Title and intellectual property rights in and to any content displayed by, stored on or accessed through your iOS Device belong to the respective content owner … this License does not grant you any rights to use such content nor does it guarantee that such content will continue to be available to you.
2. Apple isn’t responsible if you crash your car or ride your bike into a telephone pole
We’ve all realized that smartphones can be pretty distracting, which can result in dangerous situations when you’re traveling (whether by car, by bicycle, or on foot). Apple is sympathetic — but only insofar as to absolve itself of responsibility if you’re distracted by your iPhone and take your eyes off the road. The company explains:
Using your iOS Device in some circumstances can distract you and may cause a dangerous situation (for example, avoid typing a text message while driving a car or using headphones while riding a bicycle). By using your iOS Device you agree that you are responsible for observing rules that prohibit or restrict the use of mobile phones or headphones (for example, the requirement to use hands-free options for making calls when driving).
3. Apple also won’t take responsibility if you encounter “objectionable” content
On a lighter note, Cupertino also wants to make it clear that Apple isn’t responsible if you encounter offensive or objectionable content when you’re using your iPhone. That means that the company probably doesn’t want to hear your complaints about your Facebook friends’ endless political rants, or field concerned feedback about the selection of Kardashian-themed titles in the App Store. The agreement for iOS 9 states:
You understand that by using any of the Services, you may encounter content that may be deemed offensive, indecent, or objectionable, which content may or may not be identified as having explicit language, and that the results of any search or entering of a particular URL may automatically and unintentionally generate links or references to objectionable material.
4. The accuracy of stock information, weather data, or location information provided by Apple’s stock apps isn’t guaranteed
Plenty of people use Apple’s preinstalled apps for stocks, weather, and mapping on a daily basis, either simply to keep up with what’s going on or to make some decisions about what to wear, which route to take, or, perhaps, which stocks to trade. But Apple wants you to know that it doesn’t guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the information displayed by those apps, and you shouldn’t rely on them when having the correct information is critical. The company’s document explains:
Neither Apple nor any of its content providers guarantees the availability, accuracy, completeness, reliability, or timeliness of stock information, location data or any other data displayed by any Services. Financial information displayed by any Services is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as investment advice … Location data provided by any Services, including the Apple Maps service, is provided for basic navigational and/or planning purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon in situations where precise location information is needed or where erroneous, inaccurate, time-delayed or incomplete location data may lead to death, personal injury, property or environmental damage.
5. You can’t use your iPhone to harass, stalk, or defame anyone
Apple doesn’t want bullies using their iPhones or iPads to prey on their victims. In all seriousness, Apple makes it clear that it doesn’t want you using its apps to threaten or harass someone, or to infringe on someone’s rights. On the other hand, Apple also wants you to know that it’s not responsible if somebody else chooses to harass or threaten you using its apps. The iOS 9 agreement states:
You further agree not to use the Services in any manner to harass, abuse, stalk, threaten, defame or otherwise infringe or violate the rights of any other party, and that Apple is not in any way responsible for any such use by you, nor for any harassing, threatening, defamatory, offensive, infringing or illegal messages or transmissions that you may receive as a result of using any of the Services.
6. Apple doesn’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy using your iPhone, or that it will fix iOS bugs
In another foreboding ALL CAPS section, Apple makes sure that you know that it can’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy using iOS or its apps, or that your use of iOS will be error-free. Further, the company declines to guarantee that it will continue to make every service available, and also notes that it doesn’t guarantee that it will fix “defects” in iOS software or services. The company explains:
APPLE DOES NOT WARRANT AGAINST INTERFERENCE WITH YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THE iOS SOFTWARE AND SERVICES, THAT THE FUNCTIONS CONTAINED IN, OR SERVICES PERFORMED OR PROVIDED BY, THE iOS SOFTWARE WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, THAT THE OPERATION OF THE iOS SOFTWARE AND SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR- FREE, THAT ANY SERVICE WILL CONTINUE TO BE MADE AVAILABLE, THAT DEFECTS IN THE iOS SOFTWARE OR SERVICES WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE iOS SOFTWARE WILL BE COMPATIBLE OR WORK WITH ANY THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE, APPLICATIONS OR THIRD PARTY SERVICES.
7. You shouldn’t use your iPhone at a nuclear facility or for aircraft navigation
In a section lengthy enough to border on illegible thanks to the liberal use of the CAPS LOCK key, Apple warns that iOS isn’t appropriate for use in every situation. Specifically, it advises against relying on iOS in times or places where delays, inaccuracies, or errors could lead to injury, death, or damage. It also advises against using iOS for the operation of nuclear facilities or for aircraft navigation. (Good to know.) The software license agreement states:
iOS SOFTWARE AND SERVICES ARE NOT INTENDED OR SUITABLE FOR USE IN SITUATIONS OR ENVIRONMENTS WHERE THE FAILURE OR TIME DELAYS OF, OR ERRORS OR INACCURACIES IN, THE CONTENT, DATA OR INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE iOS SOFTWARE OR SERVICES COULD LEAD TO DEATH, PERSONAL INJURY, OR SEVERE PHYSICAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES, AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION OR COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL, LIFE SUPPORT OR WEAPONS SYSTEMS.
8. You can’t use your iPhone to break the law
To be fair, Apple’s hinted at this one a few times before. But to really make sure that you’re paying attention, the company reiterates another time that it doesn’t want you using your iPhone to break the law. So that rules out using your iPhone to assist with the production of missiles, as well as nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. The document explains:
You also agree that you will not use the iOS Software for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of missiles, nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
9. Apple won’t take responsibility for your choices about the security of your iPhone
Whether or not you want to use a passcode or share your passcode, Apple isn’t taking responsibility for the security of your device. If you lose your iPhone or share access to it and run into some not-so-pleasant consequences, Apple doesn’t want you saying it’s the company’s fault. Additionally, Cupertino won’t be responsible for the consequences of unauthorized modifications, like the changes you make when you jailbreak your device. The iOS 9 license agreement states:
You are solely responsible for maintaining the security of your device and of your passcode. You agree that Apple does not have any responsibility if you lose or share access to your device. You agree that Apple does not have any responsibility if you make unauthorized modifications to iOS (such as by way of a “jailbreak”).