I currently have a Macbook Pro running OSX Mavericks, being the skeptic that I am I always wait a bit before upgrading to 'new' OS versions when they are released to see how they fare both stability and usability wise.
A number of privacy issues have been found in OSX Yosemite including but maybe not limited to:
Spotlight: Searches will be sent to apple servers to 'improve' search functionality.
While probably true this also creates a huge privacy leak that I am not fond of since it could also send apple searches I make when I look for files on my own system. ex: supersensetivefile.pdf
This can be disabled under System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results.
Safari: Safari also has a spotlight suggestions option which sends your searches to Apple. This makes the usage of privacy search engines like duckduck go etc virtually useless.
This can again be disabled under preferences.
Mail: probably one of the strangest ones yest, if you set up an account through the mail app, the domain will be sent to Apple for some reason.
Only workaround is to not use the app at all but use an opensource mail client that you feel like you can trust. (In my case I am already using thunderbird)
About this mac and cookies: When you open about this mac, data and a cookie is sent to Apple that is used to uniquely identify users. This cookie tracks the IP address that you initially visited Apple.com from, as well as the IP addresses from all subsequent connections to Apple through Spotlight or Safari.
There currently appears to be no way to disable this at all. The data is sent to Apple even if you have location tracking turned off, and have not signed into iCloud.
Personally I feel like these features are cause for serious concern as to the integrity of the OS privacy wise(in synonym this could also mean security for some) However I feel like I can't keep using Mavericks forever either since eventually the risk of security leaks being found in the outdated OS increase.
My question is basically twofold:
1) Is there any way to avoid these security/privacy risks while still using the new Yosemite OS? If not, has there been any word from Apple as to whether or not they will curb back on this invasive functionality anytime soon? (I have not been able to find any news about it myself)
2) From a security/privacy point of view, could it ever be considered safe to use Yosemite while these features are around?
(If there are any concerns I might have missed then feel free to add)