Trust is a bedrock of humanity. We are required to put our trust in unknown entities on a daily basis. We trust that drivers will not run through red lights. We trust that food we buy will not be poisonous. See?
I carry a couple of inherited traits that have helped me navigate my way through life. First, I’m from Missouri. The Show Me State. That implies a degree of doubt assigned to almost everything. Second, I believe in an old Russian proverb. Trust, But Verify.
A somewhat skeptical attitude toward almost anything and everything combines well with a desire to trust but verify how far and how much trust should be given to anything. For example, I trust AppleCare will take care of my Mac, iPhone, and iPad needs. Things happen. I’ve had to pay for repairs, but AppleCare takes care of nearly everything.
Based on a growing distaste and distrust of how my online habits can be tracked, I’ve grown to distrust almost anything from Google and Facebook. Yes, both are free. Both are friendly. Both are more advertising agency than a technology company like Apple. So, it pays to recognize what they want from me in exchange for what I get from them.
Apple wants my money. That’s OK. We live in a capitalist world where everybody wants your money. Apple gets my money regularly because they deliver a good customer and user experience that seems superior to many competitors.
Google and Facebook want money, too, but both are more indirect about their methods. They extract personal information from our online habits– in exchange for free searches, free apps, free social media network site– which they sell to advertisers and marketers who then try to influence and manipulate us wherever and whenever possible.
See how easy it is to trust a company that does business the old fashioned way?
So, why trust Apple?
That brings me back to Trust, But Verify. To use Google to search, or to use Google apps, and to use Facebook for social connections is to trust both ad giants to a degree, but I have no way to verify that their collection of my personal information is not being used against me– influence and manipulate is exactly what advertisers do, right?
With Apple, I can trust and verify. If Apple treats me poorly as a customer, even if I’ve trusted the company for many years on many products, I am free to move my business elsewhere in a vote with my feet or checkbook action. I can verify my use of Apple’s products and services on a daily basis. If Apple fails to match my standards, there are competing options.
Trust but verify works well with Apple because the company does business the old fashioned way. It makes a product that we can buy and use. If it’s not worth the money or the effort, we can go elsewhere, so you can see why Apple has a desire to keep customers happy.
Google and Facebook have a desire to collect ever more information and then have that data used against the very people who gave it.
Trust and verify does not work with Google or Facebook.