Does An Apple A Day Keep The Privacy Violations Away?

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Raise your hand if you’re an android user.

Raise your hand if you’re an Apple user.

Raise your hand if you made the switch from android to Apple?

*Inserts hand raise*

It’s fair to say we have all found ourselves on one side or perhaps both sides of this dead-end debate. The phone type do you prefer questions followed by the plethora of shameless camera feature comparisons; we’re all guilty. Whichever side of the “phone line” you find yourself on is your personal choice. Ultimately, we should have the consumer rights and freedom to choose our phone type, carrier, and service options. However, the determination to capture data has appeared to supersede personal choice. It’s almost as if choice no longer matters.

Quite a few small and even some major business owners have switched to using an Apple due to its privacy features; specially requiring an Apple ID. The added layer of security creates some level of assurance for many users who use their phones daily (like most of us) to conduct business transactions. That means a lot of time spent on Apple phones, but does this mean added layers of protection from data intrusion?

According to a recent article in Forbes written by John Koetsier, Apple has been fined by Italy over----you guessed it, PRIVACY! Italy believes that Apple has violated consumer rights and is engaging in unfair commercial practices. “One of the key problems, according to Italy’s competition authority, is that Apple is forcing iPhone owners to use a non-optional Apple ID that is tied to ad targeting without disclosure.”

What Italy is essentially saying here is that:

1. Apple requires users to have an Apple ID

2. Apple tells people that this is for security, support, reporting, backing up, archiving, and so on.

3. However, Apple also uses Apple IDs for ad targeting in the App Store by Apple Search Ads.

And that, Italy’s competition authority says, is misleading and harmful. Apple is using people’s data for commercial practices without disclosing it at the point of account creation, and it’s non-optional because you can’t operate an Apple device without an Apple ID.

The reality here is somewhat tricky and nuanced.

Italy is right that an Apple ID is essential, and that Apple does not immediately disclose that ad targeting may happen at some point in the future. However, Apple does not target individual people, and is likely rationalizing the existing account creation process because any eventual Apple Search Ads targeting that may happen is not granular and not personalized. Instead, Apple Search Ads uses differential privacy, creating segments of at least 5,000 people who have similar characteristics. That way marketers can target someone like you rather than precisely you: they get to serve their ads to someone who is likely to be interested; you get to maintain the privacy, at least, of being in a crowd and not being personally identifiable.”

Is this the same Apple from the Garden of Eden? Did we bite off this apple only to be deceived and cat fished into believing our privacy is being protected by giant Tech? Apple has not yet responded and offered their full take on this fine. However, we hope their clapback is not a generic dose of jargon pinpointed to profit and hope it be one that eases the mind of the people. In the words of Jay-z “Can I (we) live?”

Bottom line:

We’ve been informing you much of this year how real this cyber game is. It’s data over everything and many of us have yet to realize the importance of protection on all levels. Whether you’re a small business owner or a social media influencer; remaining mindful of the devices you use, the sites you patronize, and the data you selectively and electively share is CRITICAL. As we close out 2021, conduct some cyber business house cleaning and evaluate if your virtual house is in order. Have you REALLY read the fine print?

Not sure where to begin?

We have some experts who can help you in real time create a real game plan. At Nine Mile we believe prevention is the best protection. We can help and have the tools and know how to support you.

Contact us for more information | Follow us on Instagram:@nine_mile_security Group

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