Remember Friday Freebies? For many years, members of The Villagers would review a free Mac or iPhone app on Friday. In the age of subscription apps, there are fewer free apps to review. So, I thought I would toss out a Friday Freebie of my own.
Free prognostication. Free crystal ball. Free look at the future.
You know what they say about history, right? George Santayana put it best: “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
Let’s assume that aphorism is correct; if so, we should be able to look at the past and then determine, with some degree of accuracy what the future holds.
That makes sense, right?
What does the future hold?
Apple will be our future overlord. No, not the only overlord of the future, but the overlord or Big Brother of those with discerning tastes, those who care about privacy and security. It is becoming increasingly clear that too much of the online world has no idea what privacy and security mean, and, therefore, do not understand what the likes of Google and Facebook do.
About half of Facebook users say they are not comfortable when they see how the platform categorizes them, and 27% maintain the site’s classifications do not accurately represent them
Wait. There’s more. And it gets worse.
Facebook has an information page so users can see how the site’s algorithms have categorized their specific interests.
74% of Facebook users say they did not know that this list of their traits and interests existed until they were directed to their page as part of this study.
Simply put, the vast majority of Facebook’s users have no idea how Facebook works, what kind of data about them is gathered and stored, and what all that tracking means (to Facebook or to themselves).
Would you like to bet that most people have no idea what Google does to track users online? It’s not just the search engine results which capture user habits; Google Analytics is used by most websites to gather visitor information.
More Facebook users say the site’s categorization of them is accurate than say it is inaccurate. At the same time, the findings show that portions of users think Facebook’s listings for them are not on the mark.
What does this have to do with Apple?
CEO Tim Cook is, in public, a personal privacy and device security advocate. In reality, Cook and Apple are working with Google, Facebook, most websites and advertisers, to ensure that tracking users online remains intact and a financially viable operation.
Apple does not block Facebook tracking; neither on Safari nor in the Facebook app. The same holds true with Google; the search engine giant pays Apple billions of dollars of free money each year (free, because Apple does not do much to earn it) to keep Google as the default search engine on about 1.5-billion devices.
As much as we want to avoid the likes of Google and Facebook and Amazon and other online trackers, we have to assume that Apple does not mind being a part of our future overlords because the company allows such trackers and data gathering and does not make it easy for customers to thwart their efforts.