Guess what? As you traverse the interwebs via browser or apps or both, you are being tracked. Google does the most, but Facebook ranks as the #2 worst tracking offender (from the latest edition of The Book of Dave), but the two are not alone. To Google and Facebook you’re a user, not a customer. If you’re a user then you’re part of the product they sell. Private information about their users.
How about Apple? Does Apple engage in the same kind of tracking and stalking as Google and Facebook? No. But exactly like Google and Facebook Apple works diligently to influence you. The folks who run DuckDuckGo, a search engine alternative to Google, Yahoo!, Bing, et al, pointed out exactly what takes place when you search using Google.
It ain’t pretty. Unless you count pretty scary as, well, pretty.
When you log into Google and perform a keyword search, the results you get likely will differ from the results I get on the same keywords. Why? DuckDuckGo explains:
The manipulation of your search results based on your personal data
In simpler terms, who you are helps to determine what search results Google displays to you. Who has been collecting personal data about you? Google.
These editorialized results are informed by the personal information Google has on you (like your search, browsing, and purchase history), and puts you in a bubble based on what Google’s algorithms think you’re most likely to click on.
Google wants you to click and displays search engine results designed to get you to click. Simply put, your actions are being influenced by the data that Google collects from you while you browse the web, use various applications that phone home collected data to Google (Google Analytics is another devious culprit; the most used analytics among websites– not used on NoodleMac or other Villagers’ websites).
Facebook, of course, does the same thing. What you see is based upon information Facebook has collected about your online habits.
What about Apple?
To be right up front, Apple does not collect personal data the way the company’s nefarious foes collect information, and it is not used the same way. Yet, Apple– just like Google and Facebook– works diligently to influence your emotions to favor Apple’s products.
Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs on design:
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
Apple’s approach to designing a product is more holistic than competitors. Have you noticed how Apple products are packaged and wrapped? These are not Amazon Basics or Anker or HP or Dell. The box, packaging, materials, and everything about what carries the product to you is designed to make you feel good about opening the box and to influence how you feel about Apple.
macOS, iOS, watchOS, et al, are differentiated from their Windows and Android counterparts in their holistic usability. Again, designed to make you feel good about using the product. Apple disdains bolted on features that look good on PowerPoint but that complicate a customer’s usability of the product.
Visually, aesthetically, and in use, Apple manipulates customers to trust the company’s products, to relax and feel safe in the walled garden ecosystem.
Jobs had a childlike approach to using Apple’s products.
Older people sit down and ask, ‘What is it?‘ but the boy asks, ‘What can I do with it?‘.
Google and Facebook have been exposed as manipulators and that upsets those who care about their privacy. Apple is exposed as a manipulator, too, but in a way that makes customers feel good about paying higher prices for their products.
Remember, in a capitalist society, everyone is out to get your money. How they do it may differ, but the end result is the same.