Leave it to Apple to lead the way to new technology. Technology buzzwords. Once Apple CEO Tim Cook took a stand on privacy and spit on the shoes of Google’s CEO and Facebook’s CEO, then you could guess what would happen. It always happens this way.
First, considerate and thoughtful people complained about privacy violators. Google and Faceboook topped the list. Then, just as Apple did with iPod, iPhone, and Watch, Tim and Company took the privacy issue and defined it Apple’s way.
How familiar is that?
Google CEO Sundar Pichai decided that Google is just as private as any company and more so than Apple.
Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury Good
The implication is obvious. Google gives away free software to anyone, protects user privacy, and Apple only protects the privacy of customers who can afford it.
Did you miss it?
Google protects privacy by protecting your information.
Yes, we use data to make products more helpful for everyone. But we also protect your information.
Translation: “We don’t let too many people steal your data.”
Apple gathers information from customers, too, but the iPhone maker’s business model is different than Google’s business model which is more akin to Facebook’s business model.
Apple sells hardware. Google and Facebook sell advertising and to do that they collect information from their users– not customers– and then both, and their advertisers, use that information (data) against the very users who gave it up to use software for free.
Google products are designed to be helpful. They take the friction out of daily life (for example, by showing you the fastest route home at the end of a long day) and give you back time to spend on things you actually want to do. We feel privileged that billions of people trust products like Search, Chrome, Maps and Android to help them every day.
Help? Yes. But all that data Google (and Facebook) collect from their users has a purpose. To make more money.
Apple uses customer information, too, but sanitizes the data so it is not identifiable, and then uses it to make products work better.
Google and Facebook cannot win the privacy argument against Apple or the public eye, so they decided to join the chorus of privacy believers.
People today are rightly concerned about how their information is used and shared, yet they all define privacy in their own ways.
As does Google. Yes, privacy matters. Google collects data and protects it from outside sources. Or, at least, those sources who don’t pay Google to use it. And, yes, Google (and Facebook) give you options to erase your search and social data trails, but everyone knows that even if millions of their users do just that, they have a few billion more who will not.
Privacy is personal, which makes it even more vital for companies to give people clear, individual choices around how their data is used.
There is enough private data to go around for everyone. Yes, Google and now Facebook are following Apple’s lead and have adopted privacy as if they were not part of the problem but part of the solution.
If you can’t beat them, join them