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Silent email filtering makes iCloud an unreliable option

Dan Moren and Lex Friedman | March 1, 2013
Apple's iCloud email service blocks messages containing certain phrases. Lex Friedman and Dan Moren argue that, because of this policy, folks who depend on email shouldn't rely on iCloud.

But as distressing as all of this might be for users, Apple is technically within its rights when it filters your email. As Infoworld points out, Apple's iCloud Terms and Conditions include this policy:

You acknowledge that Apple is not responsible or liable in any way for any Content provided by others and has no duty to pre-screen such Content. However, Apple reserves the right at all times to determine whether Content is appropriate and in compliance with this Agreement, and may pre-screen, move, refuse, modify and/or remove Content at any time, without prior notice and in its sole discretion, if such Content is found to be in violation of this Agreement or is otherwise objectionable. (Emphasis added)

Time for a change

So, where does that leave iCloud email users? Some may feel that they aren't too bothered by this practice--we could even imagine that there are those who might consider Apple's aggressive spam-blocking a selling point.

But those who count on all their emails arriving reliably may want to reconsider their choice of email providers. We don't know what phrases Apple blocks, and we don't know when messages have been flagged for such blocking. That's an unacceptable situation for many users.

And it's not as if there's a lack of good, free email providers with years of spam-blocking experience: Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft all spring immediately to mind. And--as far as we know, anyway--those services aren't "helpfully" blocking any emails without telling their users.


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