PO­TEN­TIAL REME­DIES FOR DATA MIS­USE

Apple Magazine - - Summary - By Ben­jamin Kerry & Gavin Le­naghan

In read­ing this ar­ti­cle, you might have no­ticed that one par­tic­u­lar tech gi­ant has not been im­pli­cated in any ma­jor data scan­dals in 2018 – and that com­pany is, of course, Ap­ple. As early as March, 9to5Mac writer Ben Love­joy con­vinc­ingly ar­gued that “Ap­ple’s pri­vacy-first ap­proach has down­sides but is re­ally pay­ing div­i­dends now”. He pointed out how news of the Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica de­ba­cle had brought the is­sue of user pri­vacy to more pub­lic light.

One writer for Hacker Noon has gone as far as hail­ing pri­vacy as “Ap­ple’s best prod­uct”. Af­ter down­load­ing the data that Face­book, Google and Ap­ple held about her, Ni­harika Singh no­ticed that the files she re­ceived from Face­book and Google were much larger than the file sent by Ap­ple. She has also posted links to guides on how you can down­load your own data from these tech firms.

So, where should the tech in­dus­try – and busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions more gen­er­ally – go from here? In a speech to the 40th In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence of Data Pro­tec­tion & Pri­vacy Com­mis­sion­ers in Oc­to­ber, Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook branded data col­lec­tion prac­tices typ­i­cal of Face­book “sur­veil­lance”, but also sounded a pos­i­tive note: “We at Ap­ple can – and do – pro­vide the very best to our users while treat­ing their most per­sonal data like the pre­cious cargo that it is.”

He added: “And if we can do it, then ev­ery­one can do it.” In­deed, one con­sumer ad­vo­cacy group – the Cen­ter for Democ­racy and Tech­nol­ogy (CDT), to which Ap­ple has sig­nif­i­cantly do­nated – has re­cently drafted a pri­vacy bill that could fur­ther this mis­sion in fed­eral law. Promis­ing devel­op­ments such as this sug­gest that Cook’s words are far from empty plat­i­tudes.

Keynote ad­dress from Tim Cook, CEO, Ap­ple Inc

Im­age: Charles Pla­tiau

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