In highly dominant socialist countries, it might be the government that wants your money. In highly capitalistic countries, there’s a company somewhere with something to sell, and they all want your money, too. Not only does everyone want your money, most everyone with the means wants to spy on you.
Of Spooks, Spies, And Apple
The headlines this week are part and parcel of the age of insecurity. In the U.K., the government wants the option to decrypt encrypted communication found in iPhones. You know, like a backdoor to open up your iPhone so the government can check to see if you’re a threat to society. If there’s a back door to security then there’s no security.
Microsoft is so adamant that Windows 10 is the future of the company’s PC efforts that updates are being pushed to users without an easy option to stop it, or even stop the ongoing, behind-the-scenes spying that Microsoft perpetrates on customers. Microsoft is tracking Windows 10 users and if you’re using Windows 10 you’ve already agreed that it’s OK.
I had to laugh when I watched the Republican presidential debate last week. Each candidate claims they will be tougher on Russian President Putin, Chinese leaders, and other heads of state who don’t kowtow to U.S. demands to limit their sovereignty, yet they can’t even manage to control a handful of television network debate moderators without going ballistic. That’s just an example of how governmental controls over personal liberties don’t work well in the real world. Those same politicians rail against a government that’s gone too big but think it’s OK for a big government to spy incessantly on its own citizens.
Who wants access to your personal and private communication?
The government’s spooks and spies, of course, all in the name of national security. Maybe the question should be, which has priority? Personal liberty and security? Or, national security? Unfortunately, while the government wants citizens to pay taxes so the government can spy on those same citizens, you know, just in case, the government isn’t the only villain in sheep’s clothing.
Google, Microsoft, advertisers, marketers, and others want similar freedoms to track your online movements, rummage through your email messages and dig into the data you store online. Why? Profits. Remember, in a capitalist society, everyone is out to get your money, and one sure way to do that is to track what you do, what you say, where you say it, what you watch and read, and when you do it.
What Of Apple?
Apple stands in stark contrast to Google, Microsoft, and the government’s spooks and spies who would create methods to track your every move, public or private.
Apple CEO Tim Cook:
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.
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.
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.
We’re publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don’t collect, and why. We’re going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.
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.
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.
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.
Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.
The attitude personified by Apple’s commitment to personal privacy and security is exactly what governments and large corporations do not want. Even the politicians who decry big government have no trouble railing against Apple’s public stance and work toward a bigger government which must be allowed to monitor every citizen to protect those same citizens from both government and outside forces who would do the citizens harm.
My question is, ‘Who monitors the monitors?‘