Apple posted a big thing about how it takes care of your data and privacy on its website.
In a letter to customers, Tim Cook said, “A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realise 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.”
Lots of people latched onto that line, and interpreted this as a sign that Apple was attacking Google and Facebook. Some even think that this is Apple trying to position itself as the anti-Google to consumers who are worried about privacy.
Apple is certainly trying to do some of that, but that’s not the real reason it’s talking about privacy right now.
The reason Cook is making a big deal out of privacy right now is that Apple is about to have an unprecedented amount of data on us. It will have our credit card data, it will have our personal health data, it will have our text messages, our emails, and our naked photos all on one tiny device — the iPhone.
For the most part, people don’t really care about privacy. We’ve given up on the idea of privacy. As long as our products work, we’re willing to trust corporations with our personal information.
But, if anybody starts to have any doubts about whether or not it’s smart to give Apple all this information, it could hurt Apple. Tim Cook is trying to get out in front of that doubt by telling the world Apple can be trusted.
There’s a secondary impact that he disses Google, but that doesn’t matter. Nobody is bailing on Google because of privacy, just ask Microsoft which tried that route for some advertising.
This is all about getting people comfortable with Apple having an insane amount of personal data on us.
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