Does MacOS Spy on Users?

We have all heard of phones spying on users and the use cases and documentation on this is pretty exhaustive. Similar for Windows. But, when one looks up MacOS, you find simply security suggestions and claims without any evidence that the OS is actually collecting information on users.

So the real question is:
Is the OS spying on you?

If so, how do you know (provide evidence and not just “Because Apple is a Big-Tech Company”)?

And if so, what specific kind of information and capabilities of the spying are known?

Can users permanently shut down processes to mitigate these threats. If so, how?

It depends on your definition of evidence. Is it enough evidence, that it’s the norm in the industry and any big company will do it, as long as it is legal or at least tolerated, if illegal? I guess, that’s why you count as the “Because Apple is a Big-Tech Company” argument.

Okay, what about usage statistics, which cannot be turned off? This is literally providing them with enough information about what you do on your device, when you do it, how you do it, etc. All the talk about anonymised data etc. is just a myth. There is no anonymised data, because it can be simply de-anonymised by cross-referencing the data.

Is it enough evidence that, as you already mentioned, the Apple phones literally spy on users? Why would that only be the case for smartphones? I think, it’s only reasonable to assume that it’s happening already since a long time on the computer, when it’s already known to be happening on the phone.

Spying on users is an open secret. There is no Terms of Service or official document that straight up admits something like “we are spying on you” or anything like that. It’s always hidden behind a huge wall of mumbo jumbo, which leads to them being able to dispute it being spying, because it’s worded so complicated, you cannot prove absolutely a 100% that it’s about spying, rather than just collecting neutral statistics.

That said, I don’t know that much about the Apple topic. The above statements are based on my limited Apple knowledge.

We know, it can happen on the lowest level possible, for example, CPU level. This way, you can spy anything. Literally anything.

It can minimise the risk and reduce the attack surface. The problem is, that some things just can’t be “shut down” or outright fixed.

I am speaking about MacOS itself, not iOS. Spectre is a hardware vulnerability not limited to MacOS. As far as the usage statistics, when you run MacOS, it gives you the option to NOT send the data. Whether they respect that or not is another question which quite frankly, I do not have an answer for as I have not seen evidence either way.

And I said, if they spy on you on iOS, without question, without any doubt, indisputably, then why would they stop at macOS?

I agree with that logic. However, to what extent are we talking?

For example, with iOS, it is well known MAC addresses are collected from nearby devices and devices on the LAN. Is the same being done on MacOS? Is there keylogging being done? Do they know every keystroke? Or, are there command and control capabilities?

Without getting paranoid about big brother watching and unless Apple have made a change in policy … there is no keylogging on a Mac system.
But Apple know where the device is so if lost they can trace and switch it off or offer the location address.
Also if the system crashes (rare event) the crash report can be found and sent.
Basically Apple are not interested in you writing your life story on a standard Mac.
That changes if you are infected with some form of spyware, Using a general term for that)
Of course once you go onto the internet, send mail or use it to communicate, then other companies could trace your history.
And importantly the police or government may install a log … think child abuse, homeland security and similar groups. Yes even if yo mask using tor vpn or similar.
If you are not breaking the law you have nothing to worry about.