Apple's Cook speaks out against public, private data harvesting policies

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  • Reply 81 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,351member
    dabe wrote: »

    Good try. But it still doesn't add up. (No offense intended.) They should be changing the terms of the discussion by modifying the language at their own website as a first step, possibly using the word "monetize" instead of sell.
    dabe wrote: »

    EDIT: On second thought, the answer could be that they (i.e., the folk at Google) just don't look at the word "sell" with exactly the same restrictions you've applied.
    Why would they interchange "sell" and "monetize"? :???: One they do and the other they don't.. They are not the same thing. Instead I suggest it is you that refuses to give up the talking point that Google sells your personal information and as validation for what you wish to believe (and convince others of ?) you've decided to conflate the two and claim Google should do the same.

    Edit: You should look up synonyms for "Sell" to see if your suggestion the two words are interchangable is true.
    http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/sell

    Hint: It isn't.
  • Reply 82 of 108

    Cook's approach recently has been to make highly divisive statements about its competitors, rather than to stay on message.

     

    I'd really like to see Tim Cook and Apple, generally, keep the message simple. Jobs's statement in 2010 sums it up nicely, in words that even non-technophiles can understand and digest:

     

    "Privacy means people know what they're signing up for in plain english and repeatedly."

     

    Instead, Tim Cook's using statements like the follow, which serve to make Apple look like its flinging mud, and I really wonder how it makes Google and Facebook users feel:

     

    "They're gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it"

     

    Keep it simple, Apple.

  • Reply 83 of 108
    dabedabe Posts: 99member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post







    Why would they interchange "sell" and "monetize"? image One they do and the other they don't.. They are not the same thing. Instead I suggest it is you that refuses to give up the talking point that Google sells your personal information and as validation for what you wish to believe (and convince others of ?) you've decided to conflate the two and claim Google should do the same.



    Edit: You should look up synonyms for "Sell" to see if your suggestion the two words are interchangable is true.

    http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/sell



    Hint: It isn't.

    Now you've really got me confused!

     

    Quote: Why would they interchange "sell" and "monetize"? image One they do and the other they don't..

     

    Didn't you tell me that what Google does (like certain others you listed) is "monetize"? And also didn't you tell me that they don't "sell."? Also, that there is fear-mongering by those who insist that they sell (in the sense of losing control). So if they're using the term sell at their website, and you know as you've said, that what they actually do is monetize, why wouldn't any reasonable person think that changing and using "monetize" instead would be in their best interest?

  • Reply 84 of 108
    dabedabe Posts: 99member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dabe View Post

     

    Now you've really got me confused!

     

    Quote: Why would they interchange "sell" and "monetize"? image One they do and the other they don't..

     

    Didn't you tell me that what Google does (like certain others you listed) is "monetize"? And also didn't you tell me that they don't "sell."? Also, that there is fear-mongering by those who insist that they sell (in the sense of losing control). So if they're using the term sell at their website, and you know as you've said, that what they actually do is monetize, why wouldn't any reasonable person think that changing and using "monetize" instead would be in their best interest?


    EDIT: By the way, I never said that they should interchange sell and monetize. Go check before you accuse me again falsely. In fact I only suggested the judicious use of the word "monetize." 

  • Reply 85 of 108
    dabedabe Posts: 99member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dabe View Post

     

    Now you've really got me confused!

     

    Quote: Why would they interchange "sell" and "monetize"? image One they do and the other they don't..

     

    Didn't you tell me that what Google does (like certain others you listed) is "monetize"? And also didn't you tell me that they don't "sell."? Also, that there is fear-mongering by those who insist that they sell (in the sense of losing control). So if they're using the term sell at their website, and you know as you've said, that what they actually do is monetize, why wouldn't any reasonable person think that changing and using "monetize" instead would be in their best interest? 


     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dabe View Post

     

    EDIT: By the way, I never said that they should interchange sell and monetize. Go check before you accuse me again falsely. In fact I only suggested the judicious use of the word "monetize." 


     

    EDIT-2: I chose to ignore your not-so-veiled accusation that I'm the agent of some conspiracy-related agenda since you clearly misinterpreted what I had written. I never said "interchange" and I never said "substitute," which is what you would expect when the meaning intended is to simply replace one word with another. Rather, what I said was "changing the terms of the discussion by modifying the language at their own website as a first step, possibly using the word "monetize" instead of sell," as in employing the word "monetize" instead of  employing the word "sell." Then I went on to state that "they could make judicious use of "monetize."

     

    I was hoping that we could continue to have an objective discussion of an aspect of this situation that previously was unknown to me. But if you insist on misinterpreting the facts of what I've said as if you were operating from within a cloud of paranoia, it's simply not going to work.

  • Reply 86 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,351member
    [@]Dabe[/@]
    I think you're focusing way too hard on a specific word and missing a few things. Perhaps you just don't have any idea how ad targeting works and don't know where to look for answers? Do you think if you understood it better some of your questions might be answered? While getting it from some companies might be difficult or time-consuming, Google has a number of help pages that explain it. Start here: http://www.google.com/ads/displaynetwork/manage-your-ads/targeting-tools.html They're not hiding it.

    Almost every business including high value luxury ones like Lexus, Burberry, Apple (yeah I'd put them right in there) does advertising of some sort and none want to waste money on the wrong audience, ie "selling ice to eskimos", Getting their message to the right people is darn valuable to them.

    So if after doing a little reading you still believe that Google makes a business of selling information about even the [B]anonymized[/B] you, which of course could allow those buying companies to perhaps avoid need to use Google ad placement services, ask yourself why they would do so?

    Just as Apple realizes keeping OS X and iOS for their own products makes the software more valuable surely any information useful for ad targeting would be more valuable to Google if they kept it to themselves for their own services right? The value is only diminished if others have it. I doubt Google would like to discover that market data they sold was being used by Facebook to compete with Google Ads.

    So IMHO simple common business sense tells me that Google isn't selling data about us. I think it should be telling you that too.
  • Reply 87 of 108
    waterrocketswaterrockets Posts: 1,231member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    @Dabe

    So IMHO simple common business sense tells me that Google isn't selling data about us. I think it should be telling you that too.

     

    Kind of silly that this has gone on this long. There's no evidence to the contrary.

  • Reply 88 of 108
    otacorbotacorb Posts: 20member

    Google is a harvesting machine and they are dang proud of it!  

  • Reply 89 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,351member
    sockrolid wrote: »

    Tim Cook: "We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demands it, the constitution demands it, morality demands it."

    Google: <crickets> ... <nervous fidgeting> ...

    A case of do what I say and not what I do?

    http://advertising.apple.com/news/
    The title of the Apple article? "iAd helps marketers push Offers to iPhone"

    There's not anything inherently wrong with targeted ads but for Mr Cook to say one thing while he does another? I'm sure this gets a raised eyebrow from even you.
  • Reply 90 of 108
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    A case of do what I say and not what I do?



    http://advertising.apple.com/news/

    The title of the Apple article? "iAd helps marketers push Offers to iPhone"



    There's not anything inherently wrong with targeted ads but for Mr Cook to say one thing while he does another? I'm sure this gets a raised eyebrow from even you.

     

    Oh, but this isn't about me, is it?

     

    Apple can and will gradually shut Google out of the iOS advertising space.

    Ad blocking extensions on Mobile Safari in iOS 9 are just the start.

    Google can kiss 75% of their mobile device ad revenue goodbye when Apple shuts the door.

     

    And no, Tim Cook isn't being a hypocrite.  He's just exposing Google / Facebook / Yahoo.

    They're advertising companies.  They'll pry into every aspect of your life to make more money.

    It's not the ads that worry people.  It's the industrial-strength data mining.

    97% of Googe's revenue comes from ads, so data mining their users is a do-or-die issue for them.

  • Reply 91 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,351member
    sockrolid wrote: »


    And no, Tim Cook isn't being a hypocrite.  He's just exposing Google / Facebook / Yahoo.
    They're advertising companies.  They'll pry into every aspect of your life to make more money.
    It's not the ads that worry people.  It's the industrial-strength data mining.
    .

    This sounds like data-mining put to use doesn't it? Who's the customer here?

    "Because iPhones are location-aware, so are Offers. Offers can be updated to present new messages dynamically, and also triggered with updates specific to a store location via iBeacon. Offers can also be targeted by age, gender, geography, or custom segments built by the marketer, and updated as often as required to keep messages fresh."

    "iAd’s exclusive targeting capabilities will allow advertisers to refine their audience according to demographics, topics of interest, or even existing customer segments, and deliver targeted ad banners, dramatic full page ads, and high-definition video ads."
  • Reply 92 of 108
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    This sounds like data-mining doesn't it?



    "Because iPhones are location-aware, so are Offers. Offers can be updated to present new messages dynamically, and also triggered with updates specific to a store location via iBeacon. Offers can also be targeted by age, gender, geography, or custom segments built by the marketer, and updated as often as required to keep messages fresh."



    "iAd’s exclusive targeting capabilities will allow advertisers to refine their audience according to demographics, topics of interest, or even existing customer segments, and deliver targeted ad banners, dramatic full page ads, and high-definition video ads."

     

     

    That's what Apple tells advertisers, anyway.  Are you falling for it too?

    Sounds like it.

     

    But here's the definition of data mining from the horse's mouth:

     

    "At Google, much of our work on our primary products like search, social, and ads relies on large-scale data mining."

     

    Full Google data mining page: http://research.google.com/pubs/DataMining.html

     

    Read it and learn.

  • Reply 93 of 108
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    This sounds like data-mining put to use doesn't it? Who's the customer here?

    "Because iPhones are location-aware, so are Offers. Offers can be updated to present new messages dynamically, and also triggered with updates specific to a store location via iBeacon. Offers can also be targeted by age, gender, geography, or custom segments built by the marketer, and updated as often as required to keep messages fresh."

    "iAd’s exclusive targeting capabilities will allow advertisers to refine their audience according to demographics, topics of interest, or even existing customer segments, and deliver targeted ad banners, dramatic full page ads, and high-definition video ads."

    Apple doesn't mine your search history, email, social network posts.

    You can't really hide your age and gender when in public. Or even your location.
  • Reply 94 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,351member
    jungmark wrote: »
    Apple doesn't mine your search history, email, social network posts.

    You can't really hide your age and gender when in public. Or even your location.
    I don't think Mr Cook qualified his comments by what degree of data-mining or ad-targeting was done. Yup they have a ways to go before catching up with Google. They're getting better tho.
  • Reply 95 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,351member
    sockrolid wrote: »

    That's what Apple tells advertisers, anyway.  Are you falling for it too?
    Sounds like it.

    But here's the definition of data mining from the horse's mouth:

    "At Google, much of our work on our primary products like search, social, and ads relies on large-scale data mining."

    Full Google data mining page: http://research.google.com/pubs/DataMining.html

    Read it and learn.
    Good on Google for not hiding it, I think most of us are well-aware what Google does. Not generally known is Apple's work in the same field. So not so great for Mr. Cook to so vociferously speak out against data-mining and targeted ads while they quietly make progress in doing some of the same.

    I;ve got no big issue with ad-supported services whether it's Google, Apple or whoever but IMO Apple should be consistent in both word and deed. Otherwise it borders on marketing speak, something best left to Schiller and not Cook don't you agree?
  • Reply 96 of 108
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Good on Google for not hiding it, I think most of us are well-aware what Google does. Not generally known is Apple's work in the same field. So not so great for Mr. Cook to so vociferously speak out against data-mining and targeted ads while they quietly make progress in doing some of the same.



    I;ve got no big issue with ad-supported services whether it's Google, Apple or whoever but IMO Apple should be consistent in both word and deed. Otherwise it borders on marketing speak, something best left to Schiller and not Cook don't you agree?

     

    I can see it now, at WWDC 2016:

    "Our data-mining algorithms preserve your privacy, unlike those other companies that live or die by ad revenue..."

    LOL. (???)

  • Reply 97 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,351member
    :D
    sockrolid wrote: »
    I can see it now, at WWDC 2016:
    "Our data-mining algorithms preserve your privacy, unlike those other companies that live or die by ad revenue..."
    LOL. (???)
    :D
  • Reply 98 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,351member
    davidw wrote: »
    But my emails and photos are another story. I don't want to have second thoughts about taking any photos or mentioning anything in an email because I know someone will be scanning them and any useful data they retrieve will be linked back to me in the form of advertising.  
    There is no "someone" at Google looking at your emails. That's far too inefficient to do even if there was no other reason not to.

    Instead just like every other email provider, yes including Apple, the emails are machine-scanned. Some companies just try to weed out some of the spam as best they can, others go a bit further and might remove/block emails that don't follow their TOS, perhaps by noting keywords found in them. In addition some also log keywords that might indicate interests in hobbies or products for use in advertising efforts.

    Those keywords then land you in an anonymized target group of possibly 10's of thousands or even millions of other internet users with similar interests, ie the word "fishing" in an email puts you in the segment with a possible interest in things fishing-related. There's no person reading thru your emails to see who you're going fishing with. Who cares? The fishing companies only care that you may like fishing and therefor more likely to have an interest in the service or product they sell, and that's what they're willing to pay for.

    Personally I don't like it anyway, no matter how "meh" the mining is. I think it's inappropriate and haven't used my G-mail account as my primary one because of it. But that's me.. Sadly tho I've just determined, by pausing Ghostery, that my principle email provider is doing at least some of the same and in their case I'm not yet sure who the beneficiaries are or what gets logged. There's several trackers. Pausing Ghostery on my G-mail page shows zero trackers. Not what I would have expected looking at the two.

    But here's the deal.

    Making believe only Google has an interest in data-mining and ads doesn't make it true. They may have years of experience with it but Apple's own increasing efforts at understanding and monetizing their users better, "data-mining" them, are made clear by the advice and features they offer advertisers.

    From segmenting users to data matching offers to assist them, to re-targeting as you move between websites, they're copying some of the same things other internet advertising companies do, and things you've indicated you don't like.

    By identifying and placing "you" in specific demographic interest, age or location segments you become a more valuable product for a potential advertiser.
    http://advertising.apple.com/uk/benefits/

    Re-targeting gives them another shot at selling you something after you visited one of the pages and closed it to move on to something else.
    http://marketingland.com/apple-iad-advertisers-can-now-retarget-across-apps-104357

    Ad exchanges let Apple get the maximum value from "you" when their customers bid on the chance to serve up a targeted ad, something you're more likely to have an interest in seeing based on what Apple knows...
    http://adexchanger.com/mobile/iad-starts-selling-programmatic/

    ...and made more valuable when Apple helps them match you up, using your email address and /or phone number, with data the advertiser already had.
    http://adage.com/article/digital/apple-opens-itunes-radio-automated-buying-iad/297663/

    The conversation we should be having is about transparency, giving consumers the information they need to make an informed decision to use the product or service whether they understand it or not.. Some will, some won't and probably more often than not most people don't really care (enough) when push comes to shove. All the big techs are on a "reach-out to the public" kick with plain-English privacy statements, putting a more down-to-earth face on what they supposedly do and do not do. Apple started last year and Google and Microsoft came on board this year. As always the devil is in the details on the legal pages.

    While Apple's public persona plays to the audience proclaiming the evils of advertising and monetiziing user data, in the behind-the-curtain quiet back halls of Cupertino they are gradually making their users "the product" that is so vilified when pasted on other companies. They just would prefer no one but the advertisers were aware of it.

    Why this should be concerning

    Simple and obvious to see if you turn it about. Some folks here say they don't trust Google because what they publicly say doesn't match what they've sometimes done. An example would be the Safari adventure. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Apple is heading down that same road, telling you and others one thing in public while doing some of the very things they tell you they don't do and have no interest in doing. Seems so far few see it as wrong and it hasn't affected the trust Apple users have in them. But I'd be pretty surprised if you don't have a few raised-eyebrow questions after realizing that double-speak might be taking place. The public face and reassuring statements are meant for "lulling their customers into complacency" to use Cook's term. There's actions going on that glossed over for the most part if/when they become public. Very little discussion or acknowledgement of it unlike with competing companies.

    Just as you expect Google to do what they say and say what they do you should expect the same and even more from Apple IMHO. The last thing you ever want connected with Apple's business is another Cook quote from the same speech: "SOMEDAY, CUSTOMERS WILL SEE THIS FOR WHAT IT IS.".

    Edit: corrected a few speling errors :D and reworded a couple of sentences for clarity.
  • Reply 99 of 108
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Gatorguy, I think you're misinterpreting the iAd text for advertisers.

    Since you're willing to spent hour after hour criticizing Apple over this, why not write both the people in charge of iAds AND Tim Cook directly and lay out your case and demand answers?

    Don't complain to people who have nothing to do with Apple's policies and services.

    Post the replies you receive (or summaries if you're paranoid about your identity being revealed).
  • Reply 100 of 108
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,351member
    Gatorguy, I think you're misinterpreting the iAd text for advertisers.

    Since you're willing to spent hour after hour criticizing Apple over this, why not write both the people in charge of iAds AND Tim Cook directly and lay out your case and demand answers?

    Don't complain to people who have nothing to do with Apple's policies and services.
    As you suggested I was misunderstanding, what impression were you left with after reading Apple's news and advice to advertisers? What specific items do you think I've "misinterpreted"?

    There's many more sources than just Apple's iAd news page. I offered a few but not nearly all of them. Most appear only in advertising blogs and trade journals.

    And complaining?? That's not the takeaway I would have expected from you. I would certainly be less affected by Apple monetizing and advertising efforts than you or most other Apple users, My interaction exposure is much more limited. Perhaps like you most Apple users in general just don't care enough to delve into it? Don't care at all? Maybe they would rather not know? Based on the limited number of replies and page-views on the few AI articles concerning new iAD efforts it seems at least here it's the latter.

    But that is an interesting suggestion to contact Mr. Cook. While it can be determined what Apple's work with advertisers entails thru the writings of companies that work with them, a clear picture of why Mr Cook would talk up ads and data while the company itself uses them to their profit and advantage is not as clear. IMHO privacy issues are being used for market advantage as much as anything. It's more about money and segment control. He may well attempt to explain the apparent dichotomy in a letter tho. It would not be the first time he's done so.

    I can see it as something along the lines of SockRolids joking comment about it:
    "Our data-mining algorithms preserve your privacy, unlike those other companies that live or die by ad revenue..."
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