Apple Privacy: Too Good to be True?

Apple Tracking

Apple’s history of hacks

There is not one single person online who doesn’t know who Apple is. The juggernauts of the tech world, Apple are everywhere.  They dominate the smart device market, and you are probably reading this on an Apple device. Apple claims that privacy is one of its core values, but is there more to this than meets the eye?

As you would expect, Apple says that they are incredibly secure regarding their software and devices, but the reality is that they have a history of high-profile attacks that shows your safety could still be at risk. High profile attacks include the iCloud hack of 2014 where many celebrities had their private photos released online. Despite this attack, Apple has suffered many more since.

In September 2021, researchers discovered that Israeli spyware named Pegasus had compromised Apple devices. This spyware has been used by governments to spy on activists, politicians, and journalists. This software is dangerous and has only ever been used for malicious purposes.

Other hacks include Google discovering a data exploit in 2019 and the iOS Dev Centre being hacked in 2013 which exposed over 250,000 developers. Apple isn’t our saviour regarding data privacy, and users need to always be careful with what data their smart device has access to.

How Apple sneaks around Its own privacy policy

The Financial Times wrote about Apple’s recent move to allow app developers to collect data from users, even though their privacy policy allows users to block data sharing. There are over 1 billion iPhone users, and companies are being allowed to collect data from them after this looser privacy policy.

That would ultimately hurt iOS

Cory Munchbach

BlueConic

There’s no doubting that Apple has changed the way in which users are in control of their data more than ever before, but there have had to be changed from the initial hard stance that was set with iOS 14.5. Cory Munchbach, Chief Operating Officer at customer data platform BlueConic, sums this up, emphasising that the original rules would have caused too much disruption to the mobile ads ecosystem.

“Apple can’t put themselves in a situation where they are basically gutting their top-performing apps from a user-consumption perspective,” she said. “That would ultimately hurt iOS.”

App Store

Is Siri always listening?

Technically, no. But as we explained in our Amazon article, Smart devices are always waiting for a wake command to activate. However, this doesn’t mean you can leniently use your device. Be careful what apps you give consent to record you, as Apple is known for not monitoring apps to see if they are compliant with their rules. Caution is key.

As we continue our journey through our The Internet of Things series, we will cover the biggest and most influential companies in the smart device world, why you should always be wary of your personal data and whether these companies actually care about your privacy.

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