Skip to the content.

OSx Yosemite, Spotlight search & your privacy

20th Oct, 2014 by Cam

Along with the awesome new spotlight search powers that came in OSx Yosemite came a few features that many of us wouldn’t really want. Mac OS has always been great at protecting your privacy. Not so much with OSx 10.10 or ‘Yosemite’.

Yosemite Spotlight Search shares your location and search information

Yosemite’s Spotlight Search in it’s default configuration shares not only what you are searching for within your Mac, but shares your location. It shares this information with 3rd party providers like Microsoft (through their Bing search engine) and Apple to provide general search information like web search results within Spotlight.

The problem with this is that every time you search for anything, including files, contacts or private emails within your computer, that information is being leaked to companies who may not (read “are unlikely to”) have your best interests in mind.

Now for the good news… this issue is SUPER easy to fix. Just go through the following steps to stop Spotlight from sending your search information and location to Microsoft and other companies.

  1. Open ‘System Preferences’
  2. Click on ‘Spotlight’
  3. Uncheck the ‘Spotlight Preferences’ option
  4. Uncheck the ‘Bing Web Searches’ option

That’s it! Your’e done! Now you can enjoy the powerful features of Spotlight without the unnecessary privacy vulnerability it comes with as default.

What else can I do to protect my privacy on OSx 10.10 Yosemite?

Upgrade! This was written years ago 😕

There is an awesome project called [Fix MacOSx] that has been established to document and provided solutions for "phone home" privacy vulnerabilities. I recommend checking it out.