Apple launched the iPhone, Google launched Android OS, and the battles began. Today there’s another battle being waged. Apple makes money selling hardware. Google makes money by culling and harvesting user data to sell to advertisers. Privacy advocates say that’s an invasion of privacy. Apple agrees.
What Goes Around
Right at the top Apple states an obvious intention.
At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That’s why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.
Because Apple integrates hardware and software into a variety of interrelated products, including cloud services, customers need to understand what information is collected (and there is some), and what happens to it (not much).
Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.
So, Apple has implemented a few changes to make your data and information more secure, still easily accessible, but the company now tells you what happens to your personal information.
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.
Basically, Apple has added a few layers of security, but also described how and what personal information gets collected and used. It’s not much, but it points out what we’ve been saying at Mac360 for a long time about the differences between Apple and Google.
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.
To Apple, you’re a valued customer. To Google, you’re a user and part of the product it creates and sells. You’re not a customer. You’re a user and part of the product.
Contrast that to Apple’s approach.
Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. 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. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.
On the other hand, Google’s products are designed to view and harvest your personal information, and to display your online habits to advertisers.
Wait. Doesn’t Apple also sell ads and place them inside applications in iPhone, iPad, and Mac? Yes.
There is a growing fear among online users that their devices might be compromised by governmental authorities or hackers. Apple describes the cooperation they’ve provided to authorities.
Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.
Apple CEO Tim Cook:
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… You don’t have to sign in to use Maps, and it only knows you by a random identifier that resets itself frequently as you use the app… They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be… 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… Some companies mine your cloud data or email for personal information to serve you targeted ads. We don’t.
Google’s entire business model depends upon culling and harvesting information about you, to build a profile which has value to advertisers, and to deliver those targeted advertisements to you and hundreds of millions of other online users who don’t know about the ongoing battle. Apple has just gone public with how it defends privacy, values privacy, and why that’s important to everyone.
How will Google respond?