Apple is taking advantage of Data Protection Day to update its mini-site on privacy features and unveil the upcoming arrival of a highly anticipated option: the request for authorization for targeting advertising by third-party apps.
A simple trip to the park and thousands of personal information are collected to recompose the puzzle of his life. This is the message, and the example, unveiled by Apple on January 28, World Data Protection Day. Or how to learn to live in peace online, soon being able to no longer be tracked by companies without our consent.
Confidentiality, a fad that has become a priesthood
For several years, the Cupertino company has been hammering out its message on the confidentiality of data and privacy. Whether for iPhone, Mac or the latest HomePod mini, there is not a keynote without its obligatory passage to reassure users about the encryption of their data, non-sharing and confidentiality of all kinds. As early as 2005, Steve Jobs had made data protection a fad and wanted to instill this in Apple’s mentality. It has become a priesthood for the company that wants to be at the forefront of the fight against tracking.
The Californian firm is always quick to recall the four principles that govern the design of its products and services:
- A minimum data collection: what is strictly necessary to operate a service;
- Data managed as much as possible on a device and not by Apple servers to avoid collection and protect confidentiality;
- Transparency and control of data: to always know what is shared and used;
- Hardware and software security in concert.
Confidentiality, ” a fundamental human right“, According to Craig Federighi, the head of software engineering at Apple. The company has recently increased the measures to support the security of personal data, whether through the option “Connect with Apple” which grants you a private email address rather than giving your own, secure passwords reinforced from the iPhone, pop-ups to report the unwanted use of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi by an app, etc.
At the end of 2020, the brand also asked its developers to be more transparent about the data they collect through their apps and to display it clearly. The App Store has been redesigned to show this information on each file and thus better inform the user before he downloads. A sort of militant act on both sides to encourage developers to be more serious in their relationship with users and to offer “peace of mind” to the latter.
A day in the life of your data
And to keep up with the 15th edition of World Data Protection Day, a 2007 European Union initiative, Apple is updating its mini-site dedicated to data confidentiality personal and privacy.
The apple brand reminds us of some disturbing figures (profiles reconstructed from 5000 characteristics recovered, 20% of children’s apps collect data and share it …) and the bad methods sometimes used by a ” vast and opaque industry Which wants to advertise you. An industry that still posts $ 227 billion per year by collecting, aggregating, sharing and monetizing the information collected by all possible means, from data brokers to advertising technology companies, social networks or simply apps that are on your smartphone.
In short, nothing joyful and a smartphone that has become Big Brother. To illustrate all this, Apple stages a ” Day in the life of your data »Through the example of a father wanting to take his daughter to the park. An illustration of all the possible means of unconsciously letting slip information that will help to digitally reconstitute your life with thousands of accumulated personal data (address, phone number, age, job, social status, political preferences, hobbies, destination, research , etc.). All this by looking for information on an app, taking a geotagged photo, using a funny app …
We could see it as a rehash, but the majority of people do not know that there is often a wolf behind these apps. And this wolf is after your data that he can cash in. So, we must prevent rather than cure, which Apple does by deciphering each situation with its right solution (which sometimes obviously involves the use of home services qualified as “safe” …). But also by giving the right tools to get by and make monitoring more transparent. And that, Apple understood that it was its part of the deal.
Advertising targeting soon to be regulated
« Ask them every time. Tell them to stop asking them if they have had enough of you asking them. Let them know exactly what you’re going to do with their data“, Had advanced Steve Jobs at the All Things Digital conference in 2010. Always ask to be sure and, somewhere, protect yourself from any accusation.
Long awaited, promised in the summer of 2020 and having already given Facebook a few cold sweats, the advertising tracking control function App Tracking Transparency is finally announced by Apple. Starting in the spring of 2021, an update to iOS 14 will force apps to ask users for permission to track their data on other companies’ apps or websites. A pop-up will appear for you to validate the authorization or not. It will even be possible to say no to all requests.
In the Settings section of the iPhone, iPad or even your Apple TV, it will then be possible to access a list of apps that have requested monitoring and adjust your authorized targeting decision or no. One way to have control over your data and, for apps, to be more transparent. And Apple has already announced that it won’t be possible for developers to trade in using the service for your data.
All of these topics should also be addressed by Tim Cook. The boss of Apple will speak at the CPDP conference (Computers, Privacy and Data Protection) this Thursday January 28 at 5.15 p.m. from Brussels. A new opportunity for Apple to hide nothing from its message.