Apple had a tough week and this past weekend took a brilliant aim on rival tech companies with its ad touting its privacy prowess.
“What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone”
The tech narrative has been mired in privacy issues in 2018 and as 2019 begins, companies have started to seriously consider how they protect user data either online or offline. As a power move, the Apple billboard ad is on such a strategic place, it has been plastered on a hotel wall overlooking the Las Vegas Convention Center where some 4,500 exhibitors and attendees who will occupy the 2.8 million square feet space. The tech conference is expected to be flooded with gadgets powered by smart voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa – all ranging from smart to the dumb ones.
The sign pays homage to the popular slogan that embodies the resort city – “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” and its message to the attendees is that whatever they’ll be doing in the Nevada capital, Apple will never know.
But does Apple take user’s privacy seriously?
Apple’s privacy is relatively impenetrable but Apple’s default settings undermine this brag including in the location and search settings.
1/ Lots of attention yesterday to @apple’s Privacy developments. Don’t forget it’s still a data company though and makes money off data. I’d like understand from @tim_cook know why on iOS, users cannot set the default search engine of THEIR CHOICE? .. pic.twitter.com/xXKIsChqvA
— Privacy Matters (@PrivacyMatters) October 18, 2018
This other Twitter thread lays out some recent instances:
1) AccuWeather was caught grabbing Wi-Fi router data to pinpoint iPhone user locations — even when the setting was turned off! @chronic described it as an egregious breach of user privacy. A basic traffic analysis revealed it! Apple should've spotted it. https://t.co/J6TRhpVB3J
— Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) January 5, 2019
As the year continues, users are going to be more conscious on matters concerning their personal data and tech companies will have to work even harder to ensure this data doesn’t get exposed or misused especially after the privacy scandals that rocked 2018.