Does Apple Care About Your Privacy

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.”

Tim Cook

apple-logoI’m sure that some of your kids have an iPhone. Or they have iPods. Or iPads. Or some combination thereof.

Your kids’ privacy is something that you probably think about a lot in the real world. You wouldn’t want a stranger in your child’s bedroom. When it comes to electronic devices, you are ceding at least some of that caring and responsibility to the electronics and software manufacturers. Does Apple care about your kids’ privacy? Let’s take a look.

From Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, appearing in a new section of the Apple website yesterday (www.apple.com/privacy):

“We believe in telling you up front exactly what’s going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us. And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.”

What does that mean exactly? Well, the privacy safeguards come in part from Apple’s long-time ethical stance, and in part from safety afforded by the iPhone fingerprint ID system, available two-factor authentication and new security updates in iOS 8, now available. Engadget explains:

“On iOS 8, Apple hides your device’s MAC address when it’s scanning for WiFi, which could otherwise be used to track the movement of a specific phone or tablet. Apple claims that unlike its competitors, it cannot bypass your passcode on iOS 8 to potentially unlock data from a device at the request of law enforcement.”

In a specific dig at Google and others, Cook goes on to say:

“We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.”

It’s big deal that Apple is going to these lengths, and a big deal that the company is going out of their way to spell it out on their website. Many sites and social networks grudgingly tell you what they might do with your data, but it’s a rare occurrence for them to tell you what they are or aren’t doing with your data. By clicking “accept” to something you haven’t read, your data becomes their data.

Nice job Apple.

 

 

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