POTENTIAL REMEDIES FOR DATA MISUSE
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