Apple Claims the High Ground on Privacy

September 18, 2014

About a 2 min. read

Yesterday, I blogged about an interview with Tim Cook where he made some great claims about Apple’s stance on privacy.  More keeps coming.  They are pushing everyone to two-factor authentication on iCloud, for example. Now, Apple posted a web page talking about how privacy is built into iOS and their services, which is chock full of wonderful things (and repleat with jabs at “their competitors”).

On iMessage/Facetime:

So unlike other companies’ messaging services, Apple doesn’t scan your communications, and we wouldn’t be able to comply with a wiretap order even if we wanted to.

On iCloud:

Unlike our competitors, we never scan any of your iCloud data for advertising.

On Maps:

Other companies try to build a profile about you using a complete history of everywhere you’ve been, usually because they’re targeting you for advertisers. Since our business doesn’t depend on advertising, we have no interest in doing this — and we couldn’t even if we wanted to.

On Mail:

Some companies mine your email for personal information to serve you targeted ads. We don’t.

On Spotlight Suggestions:

Unlike our competitors, we don’t use a persistent personal identifier to tie your searches to you in order to build a profile based on your search history. We also place restrictions on our partners so they don’t create a long-term trail of identifiable searches by you or from your device.

I gave a talk just this past Sunday on privacy and security in Internet of Things, Wearables and AR, and near the end suggested that a company with real products (Apple or Microsoft) could do exactly what Apple has done here:  take privacy seriously by not mining our data, and make that stance clear.  At a time when privacy concerns are going to keep growing and growing, as more and more problems come up with wearable and internet-enabled devices, the company who convinces people that their data is safe and secure with them has a lot to gain.

And it looks like Apple just ate Microsoft’s lunch.  Again.

Apple Claims the High Ground on Privacy - September 18, 2014 - Blair MacIntyre