Understanding Apple and privacy

Last week Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, once again reiterated the company's belief that people have a right to privacy and security, and that the cost of free-as-in-paid-for-by-your-data services isn't always clearly understood. Those for who believe the conversation about privacy and security is the most important of our generation appreciated someone as powerful and influential as Cook giving it the spotlight it deserves. Those who believe the advancement of technology requires the relinquishing of previously held beliefs about privacy and security, however, reacted harshly. The problem is, many of them also reacted in a way that's just plain wrong.

It's vital to understand that privacy and security, while often mentioned together, are not one and the same. Privacy demands security, but security does not demand privacy. Historically, privacy has often been violated in the name of security.

It's equally vital to understand that everything has a cost. That cost can be in money, or it can be in time, data or attention. Apple products tend to cost money. That's easy to understand. Building something from scratch tends to cost time, which is also easy to understand. Giving up data and attention is different. There's no cash leaving a wallet, or a clock ticking away to show us the value of the time we're spending. Maybe if we were forced to watch all our emails and phone numbers and URLs and credit card numbers scroll by as we "spent" them it would be more apparent. But the way it is now, humans are really good at mortgaging our future security for our present convenience, and data and attention often seem like no price at all.

Here's a study from the Annenberg School of Communications about how marketers are misrepresenting consumers and opening us up to exploitation:

A majority of Americans are resigned to giving up their data — and that is why many appear to be engaging in tradeoffs. Resignation occurs when a person believes an undesirable outcome is inevitable and feels powerless to stop it. Rather than feeling able to make choices, Americans believe it is futile to manage what companies can learn about them. Our study reveals that more than half do not want to lose control over their information but also believe this loss of control has already happened.By misrepresenting the American people and championing the tradeoff argument, marketers give policymakers false justifications for allowing the collection and use of all kinds of consumer data often in ways that the public find objectionable. Moreover, the futility we found, combined with a broad public fear about what companies can do with the data, portends serious difficulties not just for individuals but also — over time — for the institution of consumer commerce.

This debate isn't just raging over Facebook and Google either. How many people are aware that unless location is disabled Instagram can make it trivial for someone to find where you live? Or that Uber wants to start tracking you even when you're not using the company's app, or that PayPal wants to opt you into spam and telemarketing whether you like it or not.

The truth is you can have incredibly good, incredibly powerful services that also are completely secure and maintain our privacy is every way that matters. If a service is missing features or is buggy, that has nothing to do with privacy or security. That has to do with it missing features and being buggy.

If someone says Apple is buggy because of privacy and security, they're technically wrong. If someone says Apple won't be competitive in the future because of privacy and security, they're conceptually wrong. Privacy and security aren't a limitation. They're a foundation.

Look at handoff. For years cloud companies have synced data. Draft an email on one device, and it would near-instantly be saved to drafts on every other device logged into the same account. Last year Apple did one better — they synced activity. Draft an email on one device, and the email client on every other device within reach would populate with that same email, in that same state.

With data sync, if you wanted to switch devices, you'd have to go get the other device, find the requisite app, navigate to the proper folder, open the email, and then scroll to where you left off. With handoff, you'd just pick up the device, swipe/click, authenticate if needed, and keep on typing.

The truth is, you can have incredibly good, incredibly powerful services that are also completely secure and maintain our privacy is every way that matters.

Because you have to be within reach (Bluetooth range), you don't have to worry about someone at work accessing the email you're drafting at home, or someone on one side of the house snooping on the web page you're browsing on the other side.

It's private, it's secure, and conceptually it's better than what the data-centric companies had offered. It also doesn't require that activity be sent to and stored on someone else's servers.

By contrast, when I first got my Nexus 5 and it asked if I wanted to use Google Now, I said "yes." Then it asked for permission to track my web history, and I said "no." At that point it told me I couldn't use Google Now. Which is BS. I could easily use everything about Google Now that doesn't require my web history, which is an incredible amount. But Google wants that data so, at least back then, it was all or nothing.

That's where I see the difference. Apple could provide similar services where if I declined to allow access to any specific data, it would happily exclude that data and provide me whatever it still could based on on whatever I was comfortable sharing.

What's more, just like fingerprints and credit cards never leave the hardware, any data I deem strictly private could stay on the device but still be accessed on that device.

Apple has, in the past, been extremely reluctant to keep and operate on customer data on the company's servers. Yet because Apple understands the concept of "nearline," where local and online data can co-exist within the same service, they could apply that concept to customer data as well.

If I don't want to go to the cloud, the cloud can come to me.

If I don't want to share something with Apple's servers but it's on my phone, they don't have to bring me to the cloud. They can bring the cloud to me. If I don't want to share my web history, they can calculate the result on the cloud, then check my local device for matches right before displaying it on the screen.

None of this interferes with "machine learning." Apple already asks for permission to do just that with Siri and Maps and other services today, and they can ask to do it with future services tomorrow. They can just do it in a way that respects privacy and security, and with a business model that's funded by me directly, not by a third party because of me.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden recently said this to the New York Times:

Basic technical safeguards such as encryption — once considered esoteric and unnecessary — are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple, ensuring that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private.

Some people were recently irked that they'd have to buy new bridges or hubs for home automation, thanks to Apple's requirement for end-to-end encryption in HomeKit. I was irked my bridges and hubs weren't end-to-end encrypted from the start.

Now, thanks to Apple's stand on privacy and security, they will be. And I can't help but hope that thanks to Apple's stand on privacy and security in general, all services from all companies will be under immense pressure to be more private and secure as well.

And that benefits everyone.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

125 Comments
  • Well said. Very well said. I'm one of few that gets it. The haters that don't get it will be here shortly to spew their lack of understanding any moment now...
  • It's not about haters, it's about having all the facts straight - and Rene doesn't. The "haters" don't either, don't get me wrong. The facts lie somewhere in the middle. Rene has some good points, but is also blinded by his Apple love. The haters have some good points, but are blinded by their Apple (or Rene-bias) hate. Just one small example - Rene quotes Snowden to reinforce the importance of encryption, yet ignores the fact that Snowden also made it quite clear he would never use an iPhone. Rene's belief that Apple's reason for privacy is solely an altruistic push blinds him. Is there some altruism behind it? Maybe. It's mostly a marketing ploy, more than anything else. If privacy & security are truly that big of a concern for Apple, then they're still falling short as well.
  • A+ to you, my friend.
  • Agreed. We have had enough of these articles that I emailed Phil on AC. I think Rene and Phil need to have a podcast on this issue...or better yet...we need to have an entire Mobile Nations Podcast to discuss this issue from all angles and platforms as this keeps coming up here, but this issue really needs to have fair representation of all platforms and issues discussed across the board in a SCHOLARLY, adult manner. This issue really should not just be posted alone on one Mobile Nations blog and I feel it would make a great topic for a podcast for the entire crew. Who else is with me on this idea?
  • 100%
  • Won't happen. Rene wouldn't have total control to censor the contents. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • If Rene's boss orders all blogs to make a podcast on this topic together, he will. I also emailed Derek Kessler, the managing editor of all of Mobile Nations. If he says they are going to do a podcast together on this topic, everyone has to participate. You cannot tell your superior no. This has been a long time coming and it is time that ALL of Mobile Nations talk about this together instead of one section of MN spread FUD about the others in a vacuum without chance for rebuttal or correction of false information. Derek please make this happen!
  • Unfortunately these articles get too many clicks, so his bosses likely don't care. That's the way of MN recently I'm afraid.
  • I think you're a bit confused. Rene is the heart and soul of iMore. He answers to Kevin, not Derek although who really cares or knows. Regardless, they're all laughing at you. Do you honestly believe any of them care about what you (or I) have to say? This column, like others, has served its purpose. It got you, me, and others to click on it. I'm not saying Rene couldn't be replaced, but they'd have a hard time doing it. He's written much better and is definitely capable of better. I don't really have the desire to know enough about this to comment on it. I don't really use google services other than gmail for personal and search. I doubt anyone else at Mobile Nations does either. If you truly want to get into this subject, I think it's beyond the scope here. I use iphone because you have the best of all worlds on it. Whether that's google, MS, amazon, and of course, it's the only way to use Apple's own services. I think iMore should leave alone WHICH services you should use or WHY and just focus more on iOS and Apple's services. Mainly because none of them have enough experience to really tell you which or why. His opinions about Samsung are irrelevant because he's hardly an expert on Samsung, and has too much Apple bias to be taken seriously. I'd leave it alone and focus on Apple, but that's just me. That said, it really doesn't matter what you or I think. They don't care. This isn't exactly the New York Times. It's a "free" blog whose sole purpose is to get you to click on ads, links, or buy from its online store. As Peter would say, how would you like your refund?
  • Snowden doesn't use any smart phone in general, iPhones is not exclusive and it is likely a mandated requirement for carrier approvals. All smartphones have firmware that can be activated to collect information. Recall the scandel a few years ago where the firmware doesn't delete the information about locations. He only mentioned iPhone because someone ask him if he would use it. Nobody asked him if he would use any smart phone. His lawyer said he only uses a dumb phone.
  • Actually Edward Snowden just praised Apple for pushing for mandatory encryption and increased privacy. "Basic technical safeguards such as encryption — once considered esoteric and unnecessary — are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple, ensuring that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private. " Op-Ed on NYT
  • Oh I know - Rene quotes that in the article a couple of times. But that's my point. Even then, Snowden isn't going to be using an iPhone or any smartphone. The problem isn't that Apple does a little more than competitors to make things private - and I could argue all day that it's really just a little bit more given the granular controls that Google gives you over everything. The problem is Apple (and Rene) are pushing privacy and security on a product that is inherently not private and not secure, and doing it with this altruistic "umbrella". If they're really preaching / pushing the altruistic side of this, then Apple falls just as short as the rest of them - and I'd argue possibly even more because they're the ones using this "umbrella" of altruism. It's borderline hypocritical. Whether you agree or not about the future, I thought this article hit the nail on the head pretty good: https://stratechery.com/2015/tim-cooks-unfair-and-unrealistic-privacy-sp...
  • "yet ignores the fact that Snowden also made it quite clear he would never use an iPhone" Snowden never said that... Some say, that his lawyer said, that Snowden said, that he would never have an iPhone, because something, something stupid... Not good enough for it be a fact. Doesn't matter how much clickbait and Apple haters tries to bring that up "It's mostly a marketing ploy, more than anything else." Yes, it's a marketing ploy to bring Google down, because in Google's land, everything has the best price: free, but they in turn amass all that information to make better and better statistics about you, and to drive more traffic throughout their servers, traffic enough, to compete with Tier1 ISP's.
  • We could argue all day about the "fact" of his use of an iPhone - it was widely reported and sourced, so feel free to question that all day to make your point. It would make perfect sense if he didn't, despite recently praising their encryption. That's not my point. Apple also mines your data to make the iOS experience better - and better for marketers (iAd? Itunes?). I'm not saying they do it to the extent Google does - obviously they don't. My point is Apple is potentially shooting themselves in the foot and being borderline hypocritical. They're the grey pot calling the kettle black. Honestly I don't have a huge problem with them doing this - like you said, it's a marketing attack directly going after Google's business model. What I do have a problem with is people like Rene treating it as if Apple is some sort of "don't be evil", solely altruistic-motivated company.
  • You really need to work out those facts, before criticizing someone for not having the facts straight. It was widely re-shared by people who want to make a quick buck with anything with "Apple" or "iPhone" in the title. Welcome to the real world of journalism where anyone can write anything they want, and it's up to you to criticize. I don't care what you say, and it's going to stay that way, specially with your anti-Apple bias. No, Apple doesn't do data mining, do you even know what data mining is? Data mining is extracting facts from unstructured data like e-mail, browsing history, photos, etc.. There's no way that Apple does that, Apple doesn't have access to gobs of unencrypted that like Google. Apple's iCloud data is always encrypted before reaching Apple's servers. Your "shot" with iAd or iTunes, is plain ridiculous, all data is provided by you, like location and date of birth, so no, Apple isn't data mining anyone for anything. No, this not a shot in the foot, it's a thing that will fruit in the long term, when people see this for what it is. Thing's simple: Google is amassing an huge amount of data, while controlling the media... see this article? Search Google and what you'll see is first the Anti-Apple articles, then the more obtuse articles, then articles like this. Also, Google is publicizing a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory image for themselves, and people like you, believe in this s*** that "Google is not evil", which we shall see... because they sooner or later will have to start using their data for more lucrative services.
  • Well you made one point I agree with 150% - the state of today's "journalism". :) Again, whether or not Snowden really said that or not is irrelevant - that wasn't my point, as I stated clearly before. And you're coming at me assuming I have anti-Apple bias and Google love, then throwing "strawman" arguments back at me. Please check yourself before telling me to get my facts straight and then assuming so much about me in your comment. I own an iPhone 6 and we use our Apple TV like crazy. I love Apple products. I also love unbiased and fact based journalism - something rare these days. Your comment alone shows your over-bias... "I don't care what you say..."; "There's no way that Apple does that..."; "Is controlling the media..." (take off your anti-Google tinfoil hat please); "People like you...". I mean, c'mon, if you're going to criticize me for not having my facts straight, please don't assume so much. You threw out a lot of baseless assumptions there. I don't believe for one second that Google is not evil - quite the contrary actually. My question to you is, do YOU believe "Apple is not evil", because that's sure what it sounds like.
  • Love is blind lol Posted via S6 Edge
  • "Posted via S6 Edge" LOL No, it's facts.
  • "do YOU believe "Apple is not evil"" I don't belive, I have read the TOS of both services, I understand that if Apple fails to comply with their message, all the trust they have earned (from consumers to governments like the Chinese), fails with it, and so goes the company. Simply Apple needs to make a difference, Apple needs to make something better. And, I believe that part of it, is privacy.
  • Can't the same be said of Google if their TOS are not upheld - or any other company that houses user data for that matter? And why does Apple need to make a difference and make something better any more than Google or, again, any other company?
  • You are arguing with a follower. You're wasting your time on facts outside of apple world, lol Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I am sorry, but after reading Apple's ToS and reading your statement, you are very naive and gullible. If they were more transparent that would be one thing, but their privacy statements and ToS appear to give them just as much right to your info as any other technology company like them.
  • Wow, I mean Jeez.
    Where do I start??
    Apple doesn’t have access to gobs of…………Apple has the same access as everybody else. They can buy data just like everybody else if they choose, and I bet they choose. Are you trying to tell me that the Apple marketing machine doesn’t do research, that they don’t use analytics like other companies do, to see where the market is going?
    I bet they have some affiliate somewhere under a different name that buys data probably from Google. Yes, I’m serious.
    I’d put money on it, Apple will be making use of market research that involves using some data mined by other companies to better sell their products. On top of this they analyse your data, (lets not forget that when you get your phone/Mac privacy isn’t the default option - you have to turn all that off yourself and it’s not all in the privacy section which doesn’t even exist on a Mac), but this they keep to themselves. The best of both worlds for them.
  • Wait, if Apple's iCloud is always encrypted before reaching the servers, how was it so easy for hackers to obtain celebrity photos?
  • Because there were plenty of brainless Hollywood starlets with weak passwords. No amount of encryption can prevent someone getting into your account if your password is 1234567. There was an interview with one of the starlets whose pictures were published who commented on not knowing what that iCloud "thingie" was all about.
  • No but brute force protection on accounts CAN prevent people from accessing accounts they don't own. After a certain number of failed attempts, lots of competing web services lock the account. Apple did not implement that type of protection until AFTER The Fappening occurred. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • the insecurity is strong in this one.
  • You’ve not substantiated ANYTHING in your post at all. I’ll point out a ‘slight' inaccuracy. “such as encryption are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple”…
    I have never had a single Mac, nor do I know anybody else that has had Filevault turned on out of the box, none. Do you?
  • haha and tnt4 starts with no further adue Sent from the iMore App
  • "Basic technical safeguards such as encryption — once considered esoteric and unnecessary — are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple, " Sorry, I buy the product but don't the constant 'cooked up' apple sauce. BlackBerry is historic in their security and privacy yet Apple is "pioneering "? Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • [deleted]
  • You seem to be really bothered by it...
  • Hey serious question....if you want to bring up the Nexus 5 and Google Now, and do not like the fact that Google Now cannot function properly giving you suggestions, appointments, traffic, etc, based on data from other Google services you are sign up for or location tracking, why do you not just disable it and instead use another default search app instead? Cortana is coming soon to Android (and iOS), Duck Duck Go has a search app for Android which you can set as your default (and from what I have seen you seem to like), and Sound Hound announced a fantastic assistant the other day called Hound which looks better than Siri, Now, and Cortana based on the demos we have seen. I know you have lately been up in arms about competing services and privacy, but are you ever going to acknowledge, at least when you want to bring up Android in these articles, that YOU CAN TURN OFF WHATEVER SERVICES YOU WANT OR DISABLE THEM (even Google's) and you can set your own default apps on Android with whatever you like. Most of us that like Android (just giving some perspective from an outsider) is that if we do not like a certain service or privacy actions of one, we can replace one app with another and set it as a default (for instance, some do not like Google Maps nearly as much as Waze and instead have set it as the default app). Isn't empowering the consumer with the ability to make THEIR OWN choices on what default experience they have a GOOD THING? I know this is of course an Apple blog, but it really feels like you want to bring up competition, but do not want to mention that some of them offer you choice and you are not completely screwed into a system if you do not want it because of privacy concerns. You can make your experience what you want it to.
  • You're right
  • But Rene was wrong about Google Now. Google Now worked without your web history.
  • The really great, "personal assistant" features on there, just like Cortana, though, do require access to your personal Google services history and data though or information with Cortana that you provide her with and usage history. My counter to it was, though, if you do not like a service or app on Android, you can make another app that you like better with security and privacy features the default app and you can disable Google services or whatever. Giving up my data in return for great services and personal assistant type features is something I WILLINGLY am allowing them to have as they have transparency on what they do with my data and I have nothing to hide nor do I mind targeted ads (I block ads anyways so win win for me). This issue all boils down to two things: transparency on what is done with data to power these services and two, the user having a CHOICE. Thankfully, Android is finally adopting the permissions structure iOS has had for sometime (I give kudos to Apple at least on having their app permissions set up this way long before now) and Android M will allow me to grant apps certain permissions on a case by case basis. Not all or nothing like it has been.
  • Why would you bring a rational thought to an article like this? You're obviously unaware that even if you turn off those services on your Android device, Google is still tracking you in secret and handing over your personal info to advertisers. /s
  • Privacy and security are big reasons I use the iPhone. And the apps. Oh yeah!!
  • Apple collected data to,the things is Apple don't sell ads and when you install a apps in apple store each apps have privacy policy and some apps collected data from you just saying.
  • Apple does sell ads: iAds.
  • Are iADs tied to recent searches like on Google?
  • Would you rather see ads for things you might actually be interested in though, or just total garbage? For many it's a happy tradeoff. Sent from the iMore App
  • Ho yes but you can opt out like Google service Sent from the iMore App
  • LOL! Go too the bottom and read my long comment and also, once you download non Apple apps, you loose security very fast. You can enable or disable app permissions on IOS if I'm not mistaken. Will let's say that you have a camera app on your phone and every time you use this camera, it syncs the pictures back to a server. The developer for one can easily see those pictures on the server plus the developer could gain access to the device from the camera app since the permission is active. That's just the camera let alone so just imagine even more of the possibilities with more permissions being active. So having apps made by others on your device just further messes up your security and makes it worse.
  • Most camera apps that allow backups, though, ask the user first if they want to activate automatic cloud backups (like Dropbox or OneDrive). Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I know that and that make's the security worse if your backing everything up with a cloud. If you're not backing everything up to the cloud, your security is going to be better.
  • Not sure if I agree with the Google Now comparison made here. As an Android user. Google now is an absolute game-changer, but if you want a mobile assistant that is aware of what you do, what you're interested in, and what you may want to see next, you have to share what you do, what you're interested in, and what you might want to see next. If you don't want to share that, you can't use it. Turn it off, and find another app/service. Simple. Similarly, as an iOS user, Apply Pay is a game-changer, but if I don't want to share my credit card and other financial information, I can't use it. Privacy is a choice/compromise you have to make no matter what device or service you want to use. It's not specific to one company.
  • Share your financial information with who? You're not sharing it with Apple and your credit card company or bank already has all that info.
  • You could make the argument that by making credit card and banking transactions easier, Apple is helping banks track you more efficiently. Remember, Apple could have done mobile payments years earlier, but they waited until they could make money off it by partnering with large banks.
  • And why do I care that my credit card company or bank are "tracking" me? As far as I know Wells Fargo and Visa aren't sending my purchasing data to 3rd parties to spam me with advertising.
  • Visa is... http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21615871-everything-people-...
  • Wrong. Apple Pay is unique to your phone. It's the most private method besides coins and banknotes. Your credit card details are not shared with Apple or anyone. The merchant also doesn't get the real credit card number.
  • The merchant does not get your info on Google Wallet either. It uses Host Card Emulation and Tokens. It actually started using that method for mobile payments in 2013 in the fall, about a year before Apple Pay was even a thing. He was wrong to say Apple Pay shared payment info, but before you jump to it, I wanted to point out Google was doing this with Wallet for a year before Apple said "we are finally jumping on mobile payments, too!"
  • I keep reading these articles which hint and imply all sorts of things, generally leaving it up to the readers imagination to fill the gaps with their own fears and misinformation. What I don't see are the actual, real world consequences of letting marketers pay cash for my Google services in exchange for me seeing ads which are actually relevant to me? What are some of the worst case scenarios that might actually affect me? Sent from the iMore App
  • You could die...
  • I am guessing that was an attempt to troll or be funny?
  • Not really, no. There are many places in this world where at this very moment the mere hint of a possibility of you thinking something not exactly in line with the doctrine du jour can get you beaten up, imprisoned or outright killed. That doctrine may be religion, politics, greed or whatever. I'm assuming I don't have to go into arguing religion and politics. In the case of greed it's a small step from marketeers just wanting all the information they can collect about you (ordinary commerce), to marketeers thinking they should have the right to that information and nobody should be able to stop them getting it (mob rule). I agree with Ronald Reagan, when in 1961 he said:
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." This of course does not only apply to the USA, but to any society that momentarily considers itself to have freedom.
  • You do realize that Apple's privacy policy and ToS statements say they have the right to share information with advertisers as well as affiliate companies, right? What most of us are getting at here is Apple is advocating privacy and security, but based on their ToS and Privacy Statements, they are doing the same things they are slamming Google and others for despite what Rene is trying to convince everyone that they DON'T do. Basically, they are hypocrites using fear mongering and finger pointing as a marketing tactic to bring doubt about competing hardware, operating systems, and services. In the past they made claims of a crappy or laggy OS or poorly built hardware, etc. They have changed tactics to fear mongering and making people question their own safety and identity using a competing product.
  • Agreed. I do not see ads ever (I use AdBlock in Chrome), but if I see ads, I would rather have targeted ads for things that might actually be of interest to me than random crap, so either way I have not really been affected (so far).
  • "What are some of the worst case scenarios that might actually affect me?" Well, imagine if I were an insurer or a bank or a HR recruiter? Having access to, not your photos and all your data, but accurate statistics about you? That "it's just for ads" is a fallacy
  • Nice job fear-mongering there. HR departments for potential employers have access to what is available on Google Search via public information (you likely have access to that same information on Duck Duck Go or Bing as well) and whatever info you post on Google+ that is NOT listed as private. But HR departments for employers do not have access to metadata on what you do on Google. And Google's photos service, by the way, automatically stores photos as private. They are not shared until you manually choose which pictures to share. And what accurate statistics does Google give away from it's users to anyone that asks? Again stuff from a Google Search (like any search engine) is based on publicly available information, but your statement is completely full of FUD and just plain inaccurate. I suggest you read their privacy policy and learn more about how they use your data (meta data from your history using Google services is used by an algorithm to select targeted ads in a database of ads on pages that Google has ad space to ensure a stronger chance of buying and getting repeat customers buying ad space, but the do not sell their info to third parties.) Like your other posts in this discussion, it is nothing but full of holes. Read up some more.
  • Google reserves the right to create new services. You are talking about today, I'm talking about tomorrow. Simple as that.
  • Apple could do the same. You're hypothesizing... Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • That's exactly the point. Apple can't make the same, because they have our files encrypted, and the TOS you signed for iCloud doesn't allow them to do that.
  • Read their privacy statement again:
    You are not required to provide the personal information that we have requested, but, if you chose not to do so, in many cases we will not be able to provide you with our products or services or respond to any queries you may have." **********
    Here are some examples of the types of personal information Apple may collect and how we may use it:
    What personal information we collect
    When you create an Apple ID, apply for commercial credit, purchase a product, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Retail Store, contact us or participate in an online survey, we may collect a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, and credit card information.
    When you share your content with family and friends using Apple products, send gift certificates and products, or invite others to participate in Apple services or forums, Apple may collect the information you provide about those people such as name, mailing address, email address, and phone number. Apple will use such information to fulfill your requests, provide the relevant product or service, or for anti-fraud purposes.
    In the U.S., we may ask for a government issued ID in limited circumstances including when setting up a wireless account and activating your device, for the purpose of extending commercial credit, managing reservations, or as required by law.
    How we use your personal information
    The personal information we collect allows us to keep you posted on Apple’s latest product announcements, software updates, and upcoming events. If you don’t want to be on our mailing list, you can opt out anytime by updating your preferences.
    We also use personal information to help us create, develop, operate, deliver, and improve our products, services, content and advertising, and for loss prevention and anti-fraud purposes.
    We may use your personal information, including date of birth, to verify identity, assist with identification of users, and to determine appropriate services. For example, we may use date of birth to determine the age of Apple ID account holders.
    From time to time, we may use your personal information to send important notices, such as communications about purchases and changes to our terms, conditions, and policies. Because this information is important to your interaction with Apple, you may not opt out of receiving these communications.
    We may also use personal information for internal purposes such as auditing, data analysis, and research to improve Apple’s products, services, and customer communications.
    If you enter into a sweepstake, contest, or similar promotion we may use the information you provide to administer those programs.
    ******** "Collection and Use of Non-Personal Information
    We also collect data in a form that does not, on its own, permit direct association with any specific individual. We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose. The following are some examples of non-personal information that we collect and how we may use it:
    We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, referrer URL, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising.
    We may collect information regarding customer activities on our website, iCloud services, and iTunes Store and from our other products and services. This information is aggregated and used to help us provide more useful information to our customers and to understand which parts of our website, products, and services are of most interest. Aggregated data is considered non‑personal information for the purposes of this Privacy Policy.
    We may collect and store details of how you use our services, including search queries. This information may be used to improve the relevancy of results provided by our services.
  • OK so you want to argue hypotheticals that haven't happened yet?! 0_o
  • And how would said insurer, bank, or HR recruiter get that info and link it to you?
  • EXACTLY!
  • Antman770: the entire point of Apple Pay is that you **aren't** sharing your credit card. Apple doesn't have your credit card (well, not through Apple Pay anyway -- if you added it to your iTunes account then they do). An Apple Pay transaction does not send your financial data to anybody except your bank (and they of course know your cc #), which then issues an approval token. Apple does not get that information, the merchant doesn't get that information. Your financial data and CC # are encrypted and locally stored, and even though the data *is* transmitted to your bank or issuer, its both scrambled and encrypted. Bottom line: you're wrong. As for the piece overall, I like a number of the points made but not understanding that everything Google does -- EVERYTHING -- goes to support their advertising (96 percent of their income) and build a profile of you, is just naive. Few people understand the extent of the data collected about you by Google, Facebook and any other company that offers free services in exchange for ads, and most would be VERY uncomfortable if they knew. I'm not suggesting you put on a tinfoil hat and hide in a cave, but Internet users as a whole need to reward companies that promote privacy (like Apple) and stop rewarding companies that trade in more information than we've explicitly given them permission to have. We're on the cusp of raising a generation that has no idea what privacy even is, or how it relates to security.
  • But I don't think Google is building a "profile" of me or trading information. It's my understanding that they use algorithms internally to target ads at an anonymous token (me). I don't think marketers see that information. People read these articles and get the impression that there's a folder somewhere at Google with your name on it, and that Google is selling it to anyone willing to pay. I don't think that's even remotely accurate. I'm surprised at Tim cook. If I was a pessimIst, I'd say that he was pandering to people's fears and paranoia, setting up an ideological divide in order to maintan his user base. Privacy and Security are certainly worthy of discussion. But I only read the warnings and vague implications, no one ever gets to the "because this is what happen to you otherwise" part. Sent from the iMore App
  • Agreed. The data Google has on your viewing and purchase history etc is not sold or accessed by some employee at Google. Software algorithms use metadata on what you have done via Google's services to pick out which ads in their data base get pushed to you from vendors that buy ad space from Google and you might see said ads on parts of a Google page (ie next to your inbox in GMail or play to you during a YouTube ad, etc), but it is not like the fear mongering wants you to believe and that they have people reading over everything everyone does. Of course if they get a warrant or order by courts/law enforcement they have to hand things over on people, but for regular, average-Joe citizen Google collecting data on you (SO FAR) has really not done much more than lead to targeted advertisements. If someone has proof of other things done with data collected on Google services users, I would love to hear some examples.
  • You will never hear of an example, because they don't exist.
  • That is what I was getting at. Obviously if something comes out and it makes me question my safety with them, of course I would consider it. But so far I have seen no evidence of wrong doings to the extent that fear-mongers and Apple have been alluding Google to do. It is funny. Apple made no mention of this type of stuff years ago in Android's infancy. Now as the hardware is on par and the software of both OS's is pretty much on par, the strategy has now changed from slamming the OS/hardware/etc for being crappy (at least what Apple and its die-hard fans said) to now spreading fear of Google and privacy and service concerns. One failed tactic leads to something else or new. The ironic thing, though, is that iOS has syncing with Twitter and Facebook accounts with contacts built right into iOS and Facebook at least is FAR scarier and less transparent about what they take or do with your data than Google.
  • If only Apple wouldn't share it's data with a data mining company like IBM and at the same time be so damn cozy with those that control the NSA. I also find it odd that Apple has such a form public stance on privacy (which is good), yet seems to enjoy taking $$ and enabling those that have no such regard for privacy (which is bad).
  • If what you say is true, that is what is known as hypocrisy.
  • "If someone says Apple is buggy because of privacy and security, they're technically wrong." Seriously, who has ever said this? Probably no one. " But Google wants that data so, at least back then, it was all or nothing." I'm glad we're using years old examples that weren't true then and aren't true now. I used Google Now for months while having Google Web history turned off. " And I can't help but hope that thanks to Apple's stand on privacy and security in general, all services from all companies will be under immense pressure to be more private and secure as well." Apple's not taking a stand on privacy, they're trying to spread FUD. Why do they have iAds? Why aren't they helping developers more on their platform to get away from an ad model? Why don't they block ads? Why are all these supposed privacy violators all running apps on iOS? Another terrible article that misleads the iMore readers. They deserve better than this trash.
  • I emailed to Derek Kessler, the managing director of Mobile Nations, earlier about these articles and asked if he would organize a podcast amongst all of the Mobile Nations editors about this topic. This really needs to be a discussion with everyone and not just one editor from one site spreading information (possibly wrong or incomplete information) about everyone else to bolster one platform they like. This topic really needs to be a scholarly discussion with everyone.
  • Someone needs to reign Rene in. Articles like these poorly researched and misrepresentative is causing imore to become a joke. For an example Google now works fine with web history turned off, and apple does track and uses it for ads... Hence iAds Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • This is true Sent from the iMore App
  • Looks like all these articles are timed and instructions coming directly from the mother ship. I don't think Rene truly believes everything he writes but it's a business we get it.
  • The question is who is the mothership....Mobile Nations or someone else?
  • It's Mobile Nations. They've really been on a clickbait tear this year - I've seen it on AC as well.
  • Maybe so, but I also read Windows Central and Android Central daily and neither are as frequent or as bad with clickbait as this site has gotten. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • AC was really bad before the S6 came out, but they've toned it down a bit since then it seems. I don't read Windows Central, but that's good to know!
  • Apple doesn't track for ads. iAds are targeted to you via iTunes account details, which are NOT shared to advertisers.
  • You might want to re-read the ToS agreement for iTunes and Apple's privacy statement. Mezoclone pretty much outlined it below and invalidates your statement.
  • So, what's the problem... Did you read Google's TOS?
  • My problem is Apple is doing pretty much the same as all of these other technology companies. They reserve the right to share information with advertisers and affiliate companies but then they have talks and speeches about the importance of privacy and security as if they do not collect information on their customers or possibly share it while others do. That is hypocritical and lying. They are painting a false picture and sense of security to take attention away from them and draw attention to Google, Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft, etc (negative attention).
  • You know what is funny Imore look like Phandroid lol. Both os system collect data, neither one will sell you credit card number or s.i.n. Sent from the iMore App
  • As an ex iPhone user, I still read this blog because I like to keep up with things in the iOS world, and to learn about a new app or service that I might suggest to my iOS friends.
    But Rene's tedious and growing obsession with spreading misinformation intended solely to make more money for Apple has become a real turn off. I used to read Gruber as well, but stopped because the never says anything insightful any more. Just the same predictable, one eyed rubbish. Come on iMore. You make money by a showing me ads, and you use Google Analytics to help with that. There are many places to read less biases and more insightful pieces that are not pro or anti Apple or Google. In future they will be the ones making money by showing me ads. I will accept that in order to get access to what they offer.
  • Just stop Rene or at least give your readers the truth, hey maybe you have no idea either. For all you that don't have mind to actually go read the Privacy Policy, this is strait from their website. https://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/en-ww/#mn_p Oh and before someone says well where is Googles here is a link to their Privacy Policy. http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/ Note how Google is very upfront and gives you links to everything including their Affiliates and does not share information unless you Opt-In. They also give you a very good interface to manage your data and what apps you have given permission. This is a piece from the IOS Agreement http://images.apple.com/legal/sla/docs/iOS8.pdf
    "By using Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple's and its subsidiaries' and agents' transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input and User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and dictation functionality in other Apple products and services."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have put some of the more telling pieces in double quotes. The first goes right to Rene's main point and kinda make this article look silly. Collection and Use of Personal Information
    Personal information is data that can be used to identify or contact a single person.
    You may be asked to provide your personal information anytime you are in contact with Apple or an Apple affiliated company. Apple and its affiliates may share this personal information with each other and use it consistent with this Privacy Policy. They may also combine it with other information to provide and improve our products, services, content, and advertising. ********* "You are not required to provide the personal information that we have requested, but, if you chose not to do so, in many cases we will not be able to provide you with our products or services or respond to any queries you may have." **********
    Here are some examples of the types of personal information Apple may collect and how we may use it:
    What personal information we collect
    When you create an Apple ID, apply for commercial credit, purchase a product, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Retail Store, contact us or participate in an online survey, we may collect a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, and credit card information.
    When you share your content with family and friends using Apple products, send gift certificates and products, or invite others to participate in Apple services or forums, Apple may collect the information you provide about those people such as name, mailing address, email address, and phone number. Apple will use such information to fulfill your requests, provide the relevant product or service, or for anti-fraud purposes.
    In the U.S., we may ask for a government issued ID in limited circumstances including when setting up a wireless account and activating your device, for the purpose of extending commercial credit, managing reservations, or as required by law.
    How we use your personal information
    The personal information we collect allows us to keep you posted on Apple’s latest product announcements, software updates, and upcoming events. If you don’t want to be on our mailing list, you can opt out anytime by updating your preferences.
    We also use personal information to help us create, develop, operate, deliver, and improve our products, services, content and advertising, and for loss prevention and anti-fraud purposes.
    We may use your personal information, including date of birth, to verify identity, assist with identification of users, and to determine appropriate services. For example, we may use date of birth to determine the age of Apple ID account holders.
    From time to time, we may use your personal information to send important notices, such as communications about purchases and changes to our terms, conditions, and policies. Because this information is important to your interaction with Apple, you may not opt out of receiving these communications.
    We may also use personal information for internal purposes such as auditing, data analysis, and research to improve Apple’s products, services, and customer communications.
    If you enter into a sweepstake, contest, or similar promotion we may use the information you provide to administer those programs.
    ******** "Collection and Use of Non-Personal Information
    We also collect data in a form that does not, on its own, permit direct association with any specific individual. We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose. The following are some examples of non-personal information that we collect and how we may use it:
    We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, referrer URL, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising.
    We may collect information regarding customer activities on our website, iCloud services, and iTunes Store and from our other products and services. This information is aggregated and used to help us provide more useful information to our customers and to understand which parts of our website, products, and services are of most interest. Aggregated data is considered non‑personal information for the purposes of this Privacy Policy.
    We may collect and store details of how you use our services, including search queries. This information may be used to improve the relevancy of results provided by our services. Except in limited instances to ensure quality of our services over the Internet, such information will not be associated with your IP address.
    With your explicit consent, we may collect data about how you use your device and applications in order to help app developers improve their apps.
    If we do combine non-personal information with personal information the combined information will be treated as personal information for as long as it remains combined." ********
    ******** "Cookies and Other Technologies
    Apple’s websites, online services, interactive applications, email messages, and advertisements may use“cookies” and other technologies such as pixel tags and web beacons. These technologies help us better understand user behavior, tell us which parts of our websites people have visited, and facilitate and measure the effectiveness of advertisements and web searches. We treat information collected by cookies and other technologies as non‑personal information. However, to the extent that Internet Protocol (IP) addresses or similar identifiers are considered personal information by local law, we also treat these identifiers as personal information. Similarly, to the extent that non-personal information is combined with personal information, we treat the combined information as personal information for the purposes of this Privacy Policy.
    Apple and its partners use cookies and other technologies in mobile advertising services to control the number of times you see a given ad, deliver ads that relate to your interests, and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns. If you do not want to receive ads with this level of relevance on your mobile device, you can opt out by accessing the following link on your device: http://oo.apple.com. Alternatively, if you are using iOS 6 or above operating system on your mobile device or iTunes Radio on your computer, you may opt‑out by electing Limit Ad Tracking. If you opt out, you will continue to receive the same number of mobile ads, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interests. You may still see ads related to the content on a web page or in an application or based on other non-personal information. Opting out through oo.apple.com applies only to Apple advertising services and does not affect interest-based advertising from other advertising networks. However, if you select Limit Ad Tracking on your mobile device, third party apps are not permitted by contract to use the Advertising Identifier, a non-personal device identifier to serve you targeted ads.
    Apple and our partners also use cookies and other technologies to remember personal information when you use our website, online services, and applications. Our goal in these cases is to make your experience with Apple more convenient and personal. For example, knowing your first name lets us welcome you the next time you visit the Apple Online Store. Knowing your country and language − and if you are an educator, your school − helps us provide a customized and more useful shopping experience. Knowing someone using your computer or device has shopped for a certain product or used a particular service helps us make our advertising and email communications more relevant to your interests. And knowing your contact information, hardware identifiers, and information about your computer or device helps us personalize your operating system, set up your iCloud service, and provide you with better customer service.
    If you want to disable cookies and you’re using the Safari web browser, go to Safari preferences and then to the privacy pane to disable cookies. On your Apple mobile device, go to Settings, then Safari, and then to the Cookies section. For other browsers, check with your provider to find out how to disable cookies. Please note that certain features of the Apple website will not be available once cookies are disabled.
    As is true of most internet services, we gather some information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, browser type and language, Internet service provider (ISP), referring and exit websites and applications, operating system, date/time stamp, and clickstream data.
    We use this information to understand and analyze trends, to administer the site, to learn about user behavior on the site, to improve our product and services, and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. Apple may use this information in our marketing and advertising services.
    In some of our email messages, we use a “click-through URL” linked to content on the Apple website. When customers click one of these URLs, they pass through a separate web server before arriving at the destination page on our website. We track this click-through data to help us determine interest in particular topics and measure the effectiveness of our customer communications. If you prefer not to be tracked in this way, you should not click text or graphic links in the email messages.
    Pixel tags enable us to send email messages in a format customers can read, and they tell us whether mail has been opened. We may use this information to reduce or eliminate messages sent to customers." ********
    ******** "Disclosure to Third Parties
    At times Apple may make certain personal information available to strategic partners that work with Apple to provide products and services, or that help Apple market to customers. For example, when you purchase and activate your iPhone, you authorize Apple and your carrier to exchange the information you provide during the activation process to carry out service. If you are approved for service, your account will be governed by Apple and your carrier’s respective privacy policies. Personal information will only be shared by Apple to provide or improve our products, services and advertising; it will not be shared with third parties for their marketing purposes.
    Service Providers
    Apple shares personal information with companies who provide services such as information processing, extending credit, fulfilling customer orders, delivering products to you, managing and enhancing customer data, providing customer service, assessing your interest in our products and services, and conducting customer research or satisfaction surveys. These companies are obligated to protect your information and may be located wherever Apple operates.
    Others
    It may be necessary − by law, legal process, litigation, and/or requests from public and governmental authorities within or outside your country of residence − for Apple to disclose your personal information. We may also disclose information about you if we determine that for purposes of national security, law enforcement, or other issues of public importance, disclosure is necessary or appropriate.
    We may also disclose information about you if we determine that disclosure is reasonably necessary to enforce our terms and conditions or protect our operations or users. Additionally, in the event of a reorganization, merger, or sale we may transfer any and all personal information we collect to the relevant third party." ********
    Protection of Personal Information
    Apple takes the security of your personal information very seriously. Apple online services such as the Apple Online Store and iTunes Store protect your personal information during transit using encryption such as Transport Layer Security (TLS). When your personal data is stored by Apple, we use computer systems with limited access housed in facilities using physical security measures. iCloud data is stored in encrypted form including when we utilize third party storage.
    When you use some Apple products, services, or applications or post on an Apple forum, chat room, or social networking service, the personal information and content you share is visible to other users and can be read, collected, or used by them. You are responsible for the personal information you choose to share or submit in these instances. For example, if you list your name and email address in a forum posting, that information is public. Please take care when using these features.
    If you or anyone else using Family Sharing logs on to a device that is owned by a third party, any information shared within your Family—including calendar, location, photos, and iTunes purchases—may be downloaded on to that third party device thereby disclosing any such shared information. [See About Family Sharing for more information.]
  • Imore you're becoming very desperate looking. Do yourself a favor and stop while you are ahead... Its sad.
  • Great answer
  • I find Cook's comments to be possibly disingenuous. I work here in China, and my iCloud services work fine; my Google cloud services do not. Why? Because Google refused to play ball with the government here in allowing access to private accounts. Dropbox is blocked, Facebook is blocked. Why can I still log in to iCloud without a VPN? I really wonder if Apple is allowing backdoor access to the Chinese government as their services are not being touched.
  • I'm not necessarily defending Cook, but each of the blocked services you mention carries a different story. Dropbox uses 3rd party solutions for storage, authorisation and cloud services for coordinating redundancy. You can also host a website using Dropbox. Facebook are Big Data collectors, presented as a social platform of free speech, as determined by Facebook. Facebook also are publishers of news and blogs. Google provide services for everything needed from web hosting to social networks, all the way down to translation. Not to mention the hot topic of collecting as much user data as possible to predict intent. Apple does everything in-house, claims not to use/read meta data from iCloud-stored personals and doesn't provide web hosting or social platforms. I used to think Apple might buy Twitter, now I'm sure that'll never happen.
  • Yeah, but back to my point, is Apple providing some sort of access to operate in China? During the iCloud hack a couple of months ago here in China, Apple had no comment or criticism about the chicanery that looked to have the Chinese government's fingerprints all over it. I really wish Apple would be transparent about personal security here in China. They won't though; too much kuai on the line. Hence, Cook may be disingenuous about his privacy/security crusade.
  • Wow, way to go Tim Cook! Make your people believe that you truly secure their information. We just had this discussion a few weeks ago and their privacy policy is about the same as Google's privacy policy. Someone posted it but not sure who exactly it was. Yeah Apple might encrypt their stuff more than Google, Microsoft, etc but they still share data. All companies share data with other companies. Your device has a very specific IP on it and whatever services you use, whether they would be Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc, those companies will store a profile on you. You guys need to wake up and learn how the internet works! As for Google selling your data, that's a lie! Google has you set up more less a profile of their own. So let's say you look up car videos, shop for cars, and watch car movies. Google will update that profile that you like cars and you'll get car ads. Same goes for the rest of their services. Apple has the same exact setup along with all other companies out their in the world. Not a single thing of your info is traded with other companies as far as specific pictures, app downloads, etc, just a profile. Now when it comes to government stuff, specific data such as internet sites visited, photos, passwords, etc is shared to those sectors. If a government agency request info, the company has to fulfill that request but with good reason. Some companies don't put up a fight and just hand over the data and some companies put up a fight. You guys need to realize something, if specific data was traded or sold with other companies, hackers would be all over that. You rarely here of major hacks, why? Because profiles are traded which just show interest, not passwords or anything specific. If you want to stay secure, drop your technology and move out too the sticks where nothing or no one is around. That's your best bet with security! *I made this comment in another post too*
  • I wish I could give your post 1000 likes. Absolutely the truth.
  • Haha, Thanks. :) I try and tell the people the truth about how this stuff works but tons of people in general would believe the higher up people over me.
  • AND OH! Imore is using 3 links for Ads also so where's our privacy that we deserve? Purch, Quantcast, and SkimLinks
  • Quantcast isn't ads. It's a widely used tool to help us measure how many people visit the sites. Sent from the iMore App
  • That's odd, my tracker shows it as an ad and when I run the codes of Quantcast, I get this. There's WAY more too it but that small piece stands out. if (media == 'ad') {
    __qc.qad = 1; I believe you but looking at the codes, it's advertisement tracking also.
  • Hey bud, you never proved how it doesn't send ads.. lol. Of course people well believe you over me though since you're way higher up than me. As for the dislikes, sigh.. I try helping with the true knowledge.
  • I find iMore really annoying when browsing from an iPhone. Is it just me that gets hit with an ad when the page loads in Safari?
  • I honestly don't have Safari but I never tend to get hit with ads on Mobile Nations (Probably because I have an ad blocker setup). Try and find an ad blocker of some sort, that should solve the problem. If not, let me know. I have every little thing blocked that tries to track my stuff.
  • How do you not have Safari, JB?
  • edit. posted under wrong thread
  • Thanks, Rene, for your piece. I hadn't before considered treating iOS data queries in a fashion similar to that used with Apple Pay. I have been looking behind the Big Data curtain for years. I help develop health sensors for mobile systems and began seeing popular fitness apps collecting and swapping data, unrelated to fitness, several years back. Before they did this, most fitness apps couldn't monetise effectively. Once they saw a demand for customer data, it became their primary revenue source, and most participated in a swap network. EULAs became wordy nuisances that users just approved so they could get to using the apps. Then an app would present convenience by linking accounts of other fitness apps. Depending on which app you began with and the order in which you approved connections, you might need a mind map to determine data flows. You may stop using a partnered service but the data swap authorisation remained. It's a crafty exchange, especially for apps that gathered limited data, because now they all may have access to the aggregate of partnered apps. And this is just fitness apps. Suggestion for podcast: Bring in Data Scientist scholars and students. I've participated in some local Big Data "Think-Tanks", with professors and students of the subject, brainstorming upon personal data that most of us think are insignificant into monetise-able models. Blew my mind.
  • "Suggestion for podcast: Bring in Data Scientist scholars and students." That could be an interesting podcast!
  • Thanks, Rene. Great piece. I can't believe the amount of meaningless, baseless hate you get for bringing up the facts - Apple doesn't want your data while Google demands it.
    Apple is the only choice.
  • Read the Privacy Policy and ToS agreement closer. Apple's is actually quite similar to Google's. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I'd recommend you read my comment above over what Rene has to say. He has no clue on security or how data is used. He more less can read something and make good click bait articles but that's all.
  • Someone just knocked on my door and then ran. Was it Google???? Have they found me???? Should I move now? Will they put a billboard on my lawn???? Guess I shoulda read the ToS... Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Should change the name of the site from iMore to iFUD
  • Defenders of Google are also missing an important unfortunate truth about Google's "free" services: It removes competition. Get users to comply with what seems to be "free" and Google can "give" away premium services. Now consumers expect "free". Good luck ever getting a quality productivity suite, maps, photos or cloud storage from 3rd party devs. It isn't fair to consumers. Apple can give away some services on the backs of $800 phones. What happens when Samsung sells a $800 phone? Google gets paid? Not exactly, Microsoft gets more up front than Google off a Samsung Android. But Google gets a data collection device, and with that data, pays the bills and their users get "free" services in return. Who cares what they give as long as it doesn't co$t them anything?!
  • You clearly do not understand Android as it does not remove competition but ENCOURAGES it as if I do not like a particular Google app/service and would rather replace it with something else (ie One Drive instead of Google Drive), I can disable Google Drive, set One Drive as my default cloud storage app, and use Google's other services/apps if I wish. The entire operating system is modular so the user can pick and choose defaults. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Vava, I understand Android, deeply. I switched to iPhone last year from Android, which I was an active custom ROM dev, mostly at XDA. No matter what we produced that was a better ROM, there's no joy in using any of them without Google Services. Even when Android was my passion and wouldn't consider looking at an iPhone, I was always aware of the volumes of data delivered to Google by the Gapps package. I didn't switch to iPhone because of FUD, I switched because of what I had a deep understanding of. What you don't understand about my comment is, it isn't about freedom to choose default apps. If it's about modularity, the iPhone offers more. Maybe not for granular UI elements, but every major app and service is there with typically the best app version across platforms. Plus, iPhone has the best variety and quality of 3rd party hardware accessories. My comment about competition concerns what the perception of "free" apps does to regular developers. By Google making their apps "free", who's going to pay for something like a text editor app? Look in the Play store for Markdown editors. You'll find a few, mostly with inactive development and free. Look in the App Store and you'll find a ton of them, most with active development and cost $5-$10. The difference between Google making an app "free" and an indy dev making an app free is Google's app isn't really free, it's user-data-supported. The indy dev's free app is plastered with ads. No one wants that. At least no iPhone user wants that. Google have created the expectation of free with Android users. Indy devs are forced to run ad models or charge very little. Less revenue equals less development and cost-cutting. Perception of free extends to hardware, too. The typical Android user expects a better phone than an iPhone, for less money, and cheaper (or free) apps.
  • Why are people pointing out how an article that relies on a "lack of evidence" as "evidence" now called "defenders of Google"?
  • You do realize Siri collects data too, right?
  • Zack, I know Siri uses data. Everything today is about data in one way or another in tech. It's why it's called I.T. (Information Technology). There's a difference in using data for a contextual task and collecting everything available. If I ask Siri, "Text my mother I love you", Siri looks at my contacts, opens Messages and writes "I love you." and sends it to my mother. If I ask Google Now the same, it does the same, but it also logs everything possible to better understand why, when, where about the task, how it might relate to past tasks and possible future events and intents. Combine that with other users and merchant data, then we're not far from Google Now following up the text to my mother with, "Would you like to send her flowers at home or work, as well? You just passed a florist who's going out of business soon, shall I route you back? It's next to a Mexican restaurant worth trying and you haven't eaten in five hours. Your friend, Petra, from University arrived there 10min ago. She's seated alone on the terrace."
  • Well said. I think Apple is headed in the right direction with regard to customer security and privacy. Makes me want to use iCloud more and more.
  • "Apple's stand on privacy and security in general, all services from all companies will be under immense pressure to be more private and secure." Agreed!
  • "... because of Google making this new, better generation of apps, and Apple approving them, we're approaching something of a renaissance. You can now, once again, have a phenomenal Google experience on the iPhone, whether that's just the Gmail you use at home or work, or the full suite of apps you prefer over Apple's built-in offerings." -- iMore editor-in-chief Rene Ritchie in 2013 .
    Source : http://www.androidcentral.com/google-apple-data-privacy-rhetoric-and-mak... Time (and Opinion) changes quickly
  • Of all the Mobile Nations blogs imore is the only one where the editor gets bashed by his readers. It's probably because they know you're posting click bait. The other sites don't troll the competition this one is all about trolling. If imore doesn't want to become the new BGR then I would suggest credible articles from here on.
  • Knowing your web history is a huge part of how Google Now works. A lot of the prediction it does it based off the user's past habits. That could be websites visited, places traveled to, contacts' birthdays, etc. How is it supposed to work 100% if you don't let it access your information? If Apple's new Proactive plans to rival Google Now, its going to need to have access to this information. Though it won't be linked to a user's Apple ID, they are going to be giving up some privacy to an extent by using the service.