Apple and the Future of Privacy Policies
This week, at the World Wide Developers Conference (that’s the WWDC for short), Apple announced that they were actually going to do something to reduce privacy concerns. Some of the new features that they’ll be rolling out for their devices in the next year or so include blockers for third party tracking, extended use of permissions, and a built-in password manager. While a lot of the new privacy features sound like they’re going to be back-end changes, I’m pretty jazzed about that password manager. Coming up with unique passwords has been the bane of my existence for years, and now, finally, there is a solution.
This screenshot of KeePass may look complicated, but I assure you, it is simpler than it looks.
I’m only slightly overstating my enthusiasm/plight; I’ve been using KeePass for a while now and honestly, I love not having to think about my passwords anymore. I’m not sure why there are still some people out there who don’t have one. Is it because it feels inconvenient because you have to choose from one of the many options out there? Does Google Password Manager really satisfy enough people’s needs? Well, regardless of the case, I’m sure having the password manager built in will encourage IOS fans to have better password habits.
So how is Apple able to get away with these tracker blockers? Ad revenue and selling data is a big part of how Google and Facebook make their money, and a lot of how they serve their ads is by tracking what sites you go to, and what purchases you make.
But you see, Apple has never been about ad revenue; they make the majority of their money through product sales. So for as much as Apple likes to take subtle digs at other tech giants, they sort of have an edge over them when it comes to being able to enforce user privacy protocols.
It’s really easy for Apple to talk about privacy being a fundamental right because they don’t really have a stake in the game. While I think it’s great that Apple is putting in the effort to block trackers and minimize the amount of data collected on their users, I also think it’s important to remember that their business model is fundamentally different from that of Facebook and Google. It’s easy for them to implement these privacy features because it costs them nothing to do it.
This infographic from mdgadvertizing.com goes over the ways we distrust social media. Click through to see the whole thing!
Does this mean it’s okay for Facebook and Google to sell user data to third party developers? By no means. But I think that, in the following months, as Google and Facebook explore privacy settings that protect their users and allow for continued revenue, that we don’t get ahead of ourselves and start comparing, well… Apples to oranges.
In the foreseeable future, tech giants like Google, Apple, and Amazon are going to shaping what kind of tech we interact with, how we interact with it, and what impact it will have on society. It’s good for them to be self-aware of the harm their technology can do, and I hope that Google and Facebook are able to find a comfortable balance between gathering the data they need to do business, and respecting their users right to privacy. If not….
Well, Gen Z is probably going to kill Facebook, anyway.