Apple today launched a new campaign in favor of privacy, where they show in less than a minute how many companies buy and sell your data to create digital profiles through which they can show you ultra-targeted advertising or follow your steps between apps and websites .
Over the last decade, many companies have offered free digital services in exchange for your personal data. It is a complex ecosystem of social networks, apps, websites, information brokers, and technology companies that collect, analyze, and refine data that is sold and sometimes used in unethical ways. According to a Strategy+Business report published in 2019, it is an industry of 227,000 million dollars per year of which the vast majority of people are unaware of its existence.
The commercial is one more effort by Apple to differentiate itself from the competition and use privacy as one of the most important edges in its strategy. Especially after the enormous popularization of smartphones, devices that we always have in our pocket and with many more vectors through which data can be obtained. Not only the camera, but also sensors such as GPS to detect location, accelerometer —through which you can even know the number of steps a person takes— or position triangulation through cellular antennas. In addition to that, obtaining behavior through the apps that are used. To make it even more serious, those behind it often sell such data to third parties. Therefore, user exposure can be very high, even without them knowing it is happening.
The responsibility towards people and their privacy is high. From the first iPhone released, Apple has chosen a path that protects privacy and security above all else. There is an important series of technologies, limitations, and features that are being incorporated into the operating systems of the company's devices to safeguard our data. In addition, these are becoming more sophisticated as technology advances and the ways of spying on us become increasingly complex.
Apple takes the opposite path from Facebook and Google
Apple, through these types of commercials, makes a strong declaration of intent about the relationship they want to have with their users. It is the opposite path to technological giants like Facebook or Google, which offer free services in exchange for access to part of our information.
Both companies generate the vast majority of their revenue through targeted advertising. Google is definitely being more responsible than Facebook, who are mired in various scandals and controversies. On dozens of occasions they have been accused of the way they treat their users' data. Also because of the simplicity when it comes to carrying out ultra-segmented campaigns that, in the wrong hands, can become a weapon of mass manipulation. In fact, they have accepted that they have no way of controlling where the data they collect goes.
Apple, on the other hand, has opted for a business model in which it practically does not need to have user data in order to later market it and obtain higher income. Not only that, but they incorporate dozens of privacy-friendly features that work automatically at the operating system level. They also require app developers to disclose and be transparent about the type of information they will collect. That way people can take more informed actions about what they download to their devices from the App Store.
Your data is for sale, Apple's campaign in favor of privacy will be in hundreds of media and digital platforms globally.