Thanks to Facebook and fake news, Google and security breaches, privacy and security have become mainstream talking points this year and Apple has staked out a somewhat self righteous position as a defender of human rights. Wil Gomez outlined exactly what is going on at Apple:
Apple Talks But Does Not Walk The Talk
Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Apple’s executives talk about privacy but remain in cahoots with Google, the world’s worst privacy offender.
Cook may not be pulling punches on talking privacy rights but he is not walking the talk. Yet. Last week I wrote about Cook’s declaration that privacy is an important human right. He warned against the data-industrial complex (think of Google, Facebook, Amazon, et al) and how dangerous it has become.
If Apple is such a defender of customer privacy then why does the company take money from Google to allow the search engine giant to infiltrate Apple’s customer base of a billion or so? Apple claims to have about 100-million Mac users. Add to that a few hundred million iPad users and many hundreds of millions more iPhone customers and they add up to a customer base of perhaps more than 1-billion.
What does Apple do for customer privacy?
Password management. Two-factor authentication options for passwords. Safari has built-in protections to limit– but not block– advertisers and trackers. Apple’s new T2 chips in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro line help to secure each device. iPhones are not easily broken into by authorities or hackers. Even text messages are encrypted end-to-end.
That isn’t enough. What else can Apple do?
First, get rid of Google. Yes, choice is important. If I want to use Google I should have the option. The same holds true for ad blockers and Apple makes it happen in Safari for macOS and iOS. That’s not enough. Apple could afford to buy DuckDuckGo and have a search engine with better privacy options than Google.
Second, Apple could install a simple setting that would prevent third party tracking and application tracking– I’m thinking Little Snitch-like. Click the setting and nobody tracks you because applications won’t be able to phone home.
Finally, if Apple really cares about customer privacy then an iCloud account-based virtual private network (VPN) is a must. Yes, it should have a price tag, but it should be Apple sponsored and utterly absolutely clean, sterile, and devoid of a tracking trail for customers willing to pay.
Apple is talking the talk but not walking the walk. Yet.