When it comes to online privacy and security, who’s got your back? I’m beginning to think, well, nobody. Certainly not Google or Amazon or Facebook. I’m also beginning to think that most people these days don’t care about privacy and security because they don’t know about the risks of being online these days.
That’s why Apple should make more noise about the privacy and security issues.
This problem is much like the technology guru who came up with a complex password methodology to ensure security with usernames and passwords. Make a complex password. Except for one thing, it was perfect. The problem? The solution was too complex so people used simple passwords that were easily compromised.
If nobody is making much noise about user privacy and security, how can we expect online users to care?
Come on Apple, make some noise. What’s the problem?
Without Apple CEO Tim Cook agreeing to a sit down interview regarding privacy and security, I have a few thoughts. It’s much like viruses and malware. For a variety of reasons– and not just marketshare– Mac doesn’t have many and Windows does. If Apple touts itself too loudly as a paragon of technology security the company becomes a much larger target for hackers.
Privacy is a different issue, and to be fair, Apple does tout some privacy and security features on their products, but not loudly enough to make non-Apple customers (or, even some Apple customers) to understand the issues and Apple’s solutions.
Last week I read about Google’s new plans to mute those annoying ad reminders that follow us around online. Search for backpacks on Google or Amazon and for the next few weeks you’ll be followed around by ads for backpacks. Leave items in your Amazon cart and similar ads follow you around for days (and Amazon sends email reminders; you know, just in case you forgot you didn’t buy something).
On the surface, it would appear as if Google’s new Ads Settings are beneficial for users. They’re more beneficial for Google because for them to work properly you have to be logged into Google, so you’re still being tracked.
I want Apple to respond to the growing threats to privacy and security in two ways. First, make more tools with more options to help diminish, reduce, or eliminate such tracking. And, second, tell people about it. Apple can make some noise two ways, too. First, explain the problems associated with attacks on privacy and security. Second, explain Apple’s solutions to improve our personal privacy and security.
It would also be a good thing if Apple stopped taking money from Google. Yes, Apple gets billions of dollars from Google to make Google the default search engine on Safari. Sure, it’s pure profit and can help research and development, but isn’t Apple speaking from both sides of its corporate mouth when it touts privacy while taking money from a company that abuses privacy?
Of course, Apple could put some money where its corporate mouth is by buying DuckDuckGo’s search engine and building a virtual private network (VPN) for iCloud customers.