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Apple slips out of top 20 in privacy trust rankings

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
For the first time in three years, Apple is not among the top 20 most trusted companies for privacy, according to the Ponemon Institute's 2012 list.

The iPhone maker, once listed in the top ten most trusted companies, fell six spots this year to land at number 21, according to the latest rankings of the 2012 Most Trusted Companies list published its this week. The annual study asked participants to name the companies they believed most trustworthy in protecting the privacy of their personal information.

Apple Privacy


Apple ranked as high as eighth place on Ponemon's list in 2009, but the next two years saw the company slipping to 12th place in 2010 and 14th in 2011. The 2012 list finds Apple ranking below 20th place Mozilla, in the company of Google and Facebook.

Topping Ponemon's list of most trusted companies: American Express, Hewlett Packard, Amazon, IBM, and the US Postal Service.

User privacy has long been a point of pride for Apple, and the company has gone to some lengths to protect that privacy. Last year, CEO Tim Cook reportedly "grilled" Path co-founder Dave Morin when it was revealed that the app was uploading users' address books without their permission.

In the wake of the Path incident, Apple announced new privacy protections, requiring explicit user permission before an app could access contact information.

Also, in June, Apple detailed a new tracking tool for mobile developers that would allow app makers to serve ads and collect location and preference dat without exposing identifiable information about users or their devices.

Still the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in December published a report saying that app stores like those run by Apple and Google don't do enough to protect privacy in apps for children.

For the Ponemon survey, respondents were asked to name five companies across any of 25 different industries they trusted most with protecting their information. Having asked 100,000 adult-aged consumers, Ponemon's study yielded 6,704 usable responses.
post #2 of 21
Ponemon? Pokémon.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Ponemon? Pokémon.


Never heard of them, to be honest. You can't catch them all...

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #4 of 21

The stupid here is that there even exists a company that bothers to track the entirely subjective opinions of the general populace on privacy.  I'm shocked that that they publish an annual report, that anyone reads that report or that anyone would publish an article about said report.  

 

I mean WTF?  They might as well spend their money on a survey each year to determine the exact number of people who believe in ghosts or trickle down economics.  How could this information possibly matter to anyone, let alone one of the companies on their list?  What kind of idiotic company would actually base their decisions on this? 

 

Security and privacy issues are entirely objective things.  Who gives a shit how some idiot in Montana "feels" about his privacy?  

post #5 of 21

There's something seriously wrong with people's perceptions of privacy when AT&T and Verizon rank in the top 20 (19 & 11, respectively) yet some of their primary concerns are "Government surveillance" and "No data sharing without consent".

post #6 of 21
I agree with gazoobee. Has Apple ever had a data leak? Is your personal data part of their business model?

This survey does not rank Apple on actual criteria just public perception, which is easily manipulated.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

The stupid here is that there even exists a company that bothers to track the entirely subjective opinions of the general populace on privacy.  I'm shocked that that they publish an annual report, that anyone reads that report or that anyone would publish an article about said report.  

 

I mean WTF?  They might as well spend their money on a survey each year to determine the exact number of people who believe in ghosts or trickle down economics.  How could this information possibly matter to anyone, let alone one of the companies on their list?  What kind of idiotic company would actually base their decisions on this? 

 

Security and privacy issues are entirely objective things.  Who gives a shit how some idiot in Montana "feels" about his privacy?  

The EFF publishes a study you might find more objective, and using actual criteria.

https://www.eff.org/pages/when-government-comes-knocking-who-has-your-back

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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The EFF publishes a study you might find more objective, and using actual criteria.

https://www.eff.org/pages/when-government-comes-knocking-who-has-your-back

 

Some (maybe all) of the criteria in this survey have problems. For example, "Promising to Inform Users About Law Enforcement Requests". They do note that often companies will be forbidden to tell users about law enforcement requests, which most often come in the form of subpoenas or NSLs. But, then the "promise" they want companies to make may simply be an empty promise.

 

I'm not sure this is really more "objective" since the criteria themselves are pretty subjective and somewhat simplistic. And, actions speak louder than empty commitments. The only "objective measure" is to track what companies actually do with our data, not what they say they will do or what people feel they will do, which, as pointed out above, is about 180° off target in relation to telecomm companies.

post #9 of 21

K.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

I agree with gazoobee. Has Apple ever had a data leak? Is your personal data part of their business model?

This survey does not rank Apple on actual criteria just public perception, which is easily manipulated.

PrivacyChoice.org also has privacy rankings for most larger companies with a web presence, and based on specific criteria that's clearly explained. There's no glaring evidence of bias that I can see. There's also a good explanation of what "Do Not Track" may really mean. It's probably not exactly what you think. 

http://blog.privacychoice.org/2011/03/22/a-working-definition-of-do-not-track/

 

The respective Google and Apple privacy scores from them also linked here:

http://privacyscore.com/score_details/2defa137a8834287b1a914b0addbdb28

http://privacyscore.com/score_details/0583dbaeae55436f8778b565210e2ab6

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

I agree with gazoobee. Has Apple ever had a data leak? Is your personal data part of their business model?

This survey does not rank Apple on actual criteria just public perception, which is easily manipulated.

 

I think your right that perception is easily manipulated.  The fact that Apple was in the top 20 shows they manipulated their users into believing Apple guards their privacy better than they actually do.

 

Has Apple ever had a leak? Yes.  Is your personal data part of their business model?  Absolutely.

 

For years Apple's API allowed developers to run amuck with users personal info.  Only after the abuse by developers came out did Apple display their "shock" at this behavior.  It would be a little bit like a bank storing its users valuables in the vault, leaving the vault open, and not guarding it.  They let everyone know it is their.  Many people grab it, but once a burglar is caught they display shock and now have to actually allow users the option to lock and guard the vault.  Adding user permissions for personal info was a pretty obvious thing for Apple to leave out (and it had been in Android for years).  I'd say that qualifies as a leak.

 

On data tracking, every iPhone has a build in IDFA.  That stands for ID For Advertisers.  Rather than put options for it in your 'Privacy' section where people might find it, it is buried a few screens deep in something like the Info->About->Random Stuff->Don'tMindMe section of the phone.  It is set up as some kind of double negative, like:

 

IDFA Limited Tracking:      Off -> On

 

By default it is off and gives Apple users the perception tracking is off.  However, the real functionality is it is fully on by default.  I think in adition to your permanent tracking cookie it shares more info like GPS data etc.  By turning limited tracking ON you are actually sharing less information, but advertisers still get your permanent cookie.  There is no way to actually turn tracking off with Apple.  You betcha allowing a means to track users is built into Apples plans. 

 

Apple actually knows a whole lot more about users than they'd like to admit, and they ARE very good about guarding that information.  They are about on par with Google.   They themselves know a whole lot more about you.  They make a ton of money sharing anonymous information.  If they ever sold the connecting information they would be out of business in a jiffy.

 

Whats really amazing to me is Verizon and AT&T making the list.  They have *everything* on you and no means of opting out.  They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar with CarrierID and had to put the brakes on that 'diagnostic tool.'  Thats really a carrier hit but I think Android took most of the heat for it.  Apple pioneered its use and had in on every phone up until the iPhone 4, shortly after which its widespread use came out.

 

Its a new world.  If you are worried about your privacy, don't own a phone or use the internet.  Simple! 

post #12 of 21
100k out of millions of people are asked about their perception of privacy with little clear designation about factors. And without any clue how these folks were selected.

As there's the very real issue that many blame Apple for any issue that comes from something that runs on their stuff. So if Facebook does something. Many thing that is an Apple issue cause they were using the Facebook app and so on. And then there's the nonsense like the location database stuff. Forget that no one could see if unless they had your phone or the computer you were backing up to etc. and folks blasting Apple for having a little positive faith that developers aren't all dbags out to scam etc. yes they were proven wrong and now they are being bashed by the nice guys for the heavier rules.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

There's something seriously wrong with people's perceptions of privacy when AT&T and Verizon rank in the top 20 (19 & 11, respectively) yet some of their primary concerns are "Government surveillance" and "No data sharing without consent".

You are right there. The whole polling thing (or what ever term is used for questioning the public) is a joke whatever the subject. All it takes is one news story the day before the poll, true or not, to sway responses assuming the questions are not already couched in a way to illicit desired responses. I recall when I was a student having this latter issue proved by a psychology professor who sent us out into the city to take polls with the exact same question worded differently. He correctly predicted the way the results would track and even that they would reverse 100% with clever wording. I've never trusted a poll since!
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
post #14 of 21

I'm sorry, what the **** do these "rankings" even mean? I don't see any way in which Apple changed its privacy policies for the worse this year- in fact, iOS6 is a huge improvement in privacy over iOS5 because of all the prompts, permissions, and fine grain control of privacy settings- as is OSX. These rankings are a fucking joke, but hey it adds to the 'Apple slipping/dropping in the rankings' meme so I guess its all good. 

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I'm sorry, what the **** do these "rankings" even mean? I don't see any way in which Apple changed its privacy policies for the worse this year- in fact, iOS6 is a huge improvement in privacy over iOS5 because of all the prompts, permissions, and fine grain control of privacy settings- as is OSX. These rankings are a fucking joke, but hey it adds to the 'Apple slipping/dropping in the rankings' meme so I guess its all good. 

They are a measure of public perception, and that's all. Similar to rankings that put Apple at the top the world's most admired companies last year: It 's an opinion poll.  If you don't consider what the public thinks about privacy as terribly important then ignore 'em. It wasn't meant to be a subjective analysis.

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post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Ponemon? Pokémon.

 

Apple. I choose you.

post #17 of 21
This survey is quite irrelevant as perception is based on knowledge (oftentimes knowledge based on media reportage), and knowledge across so many sectors is simply comparing apples and oranges. In what way does proctor and gamble act in order to protect privacy in the same context that a tech company must do? What a stupid survey... And if you factor in what proctor and gamble has actually done in terms of human health, environmental health, one would have to dig pretty deep to find the facts; facts routinely not reported in the media. Consequently, public perception becomes grossly inaccurate.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


Never heard of them, to be honest. You can't catch them all...

 

The rule of thumb is as follows...

 

If you are an unknown company looking for some publicity report something negative about Apple. The tech media will make sure it is distributed quickly to every web site on the planet. Negative screeds about Apple make money. It's as simple as that. I'm sure this will be a headline article on C|net and ZDnet within minutes.

post #19 of 21

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 5/16/13 at 12:38pm
post #20 of 21

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 5/16/13 at 12:38pm
post #21 of 21
They do do the dodgy in some ways. Just yesterday I updated from iOS 6.0 to iOS 6.1 and after the upgrade had completed it asked me for my iCloud password and went and re-turned on Facetime and iMessage even though I had explicitly disabled them previously. My question for the developers is, this was just a point upgrade, why was it touching my settings at all?
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