Apple responds to Congress on privacy, reaffirms 'the customer is not our product'

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 40
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,032member
    iqatedo said:
    I too trust Apple in this regard. However, Apple markets at least one product that breaks the mould. This kitchen scale is simply hardware that should only require an iOS driver to access. Too easy but no, a customer is required to create an account with the (third-party) vendor before gaining access. This is patently unacceptable. (An account was not required initially and only introduced some time later.)

    https://www.apple.com/au/shop/product/HFZW2LL/A/drop-connected-kitchen-scale?fnode=cf89ae5c8ddc696bf4e8ddb47a36938176bf487ae69ef84a0013b76f74247acee883e9474695daaabcf3c1cce18c2d8296e9edb4ce4c4e6221234ac39f3455b3dc630934c6e1ca153cf4060304a1ebcd85c5037e33ef411af43e17a3fec2fd41


    I agree that it's dumb and bad customer service, but I'm not sure I'd categorize an intrusive or bloated 3rd-party app the way you describe it. Even if Apple is a vendor for this physical product it's still the app that is asking for an account and there have to be millions of App Store apps that require an account to use.

    If you think this is a form of bait-and-switch I'd take it up with the ACCC(?) or file a complaint with Apple since we've seen have remove vendor products from time to time for various reasons, but I don't expect you to get anywhere since I don't see anything illegal by policy change to require some authentication from an App Store app.

    mcdave said:
    Soli said:
    I feel like the phrase "the customer is not our product" is either not understood or has been said so much that it's now just noise being uttered without any real meaning to people that don't like to consider the details (i.e.: non-intellectual types).

    I also think one could argue that Zuckerberg could also say "the customer is not our product" because the billion plus people that use FB are the product, and that the advertising firms are the customers.

    Cook's long-form statement is clear, but I think he still needs a succinct affirmation that doesn't use the commonplace and incomplete mantra. Perhaps something like, "we do not profit from your personal data," "we don't sell user data to advertisers," "human beings are our customers, not advertisers." Or, just getting right down to the nitty-gritty and stating that it's in Apple's best financial interest to keep user data as safe and secure as possible.
    “We sell our customers our products, we don’t sell our customers as products”.
    I like that.
    edited August 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member
    Soli said:
    iqatedo said:
    I too trust Apple in this regard. However, Apple markets at least one product that breaks the mould. This kitchen scale is simply hardware that should only require an iOS driver to access. Too easy but no, a customer is required to create an account with the (third-party) vendor before gaining access. This is patently unacceptable. (An account was not required initially and only introduced some time later.)

    https://www.apple.com/au/shop/product/HFZW2LL/A/drop-connected-kitchen-scale?fnode=cf89ae5c8ddc696bf4e8ddb47a36938176bf487ae69ef84a0013b76f74247acee883e9474695daaabcf3c1cce18c2d8296e9edb4ce4c4e6221234ac39f3455b3dc630934c6e1ca153cf4060304a1ebcd85c5037e33ef411af43e17a3fec2fd41


    I agree that it's dumb and bad customer service, but I'm not sure I'm categorize an intrusive or bloated 3rd-party app the way you describe it. Even if Apple is a vendor for this physical product it's still the app that is asking for an account and there have to be millions of App Store apps that require an account to use.

    If you think this is a form of bait-and-switch I'd take it up with the ACCC(?) or file a complaint with Apple since we've seen have remove vendor products from time to time for various reasons, but I don't expect you to get anywhere since I don't see anything illegal by policy change to require some authentication from an App Store app.

    mcdave said:
    Soli said:
    I feel like the phrase "the customer is not our product" is either not understood or has been said so much that it's now just noise being uttered without any real meaning to people that don't like to consider the details (i.e.: non-intellectual types).

    I also think one could argue that Zuckerberg could also say "the customer is not our product" because the billion plus people that use FB are the product, and that the advertising firms are the customers.

    Cook's long-form statement is clear, but I think he still needs a succinct affirmation that doesn't use the commonplace and incomplete mantra. Perhaps something like, "we do not profit from your personal data," "we don't sell user data to advertisers," "human beings are our customers, not advertisers." Or, just getting right down to the nitty-gritty and stating that it's in Apple's best financial interest to keep user data as safe and secure as possible.
    “We sell our customers our products, we don’t sell our customers as products”.
    I like that.
    I do too. The old phrase has outlived it's impact. 
  • Reply 23 of 40
    ...ironically today I have just reset two iPhones... Both would not set up without a sim card nor my apple id (personally identifiable?), and then both activated iCloud with every attempt not to select such, presumably linking to every detail apple has on account... 'Find my iPhone' was on without any consent. Siri does not offer a 'no thanks' but only a 'set up later'. Handoff is on. Airdrop for contacts is on. All data including iCloud backup and iCloud drive is on. Syncing to iTunes is on. All notes, contacts, music choices, etc are to be sent to iCloud 'on'. Is this an example of 'opt in' ? How does this 'minimize' the collection of customer data? When I installed W10 as egregious as the 'send to MS' settings were I could actually set it up disconnected from the internet and turn it all off (I don't use W10 save a few needed apps) and so I was able to reset all privacy settings to my preference and presumably before linking to corporate servers... The length of the Apple terms and references has me asking why so much verbiage is even necessary? I made screen shots of the seemingly inescapable 'all roads lead to Apple servers' settings I experienced today if there is a way to post them... If you don't believe me I would encourage you to simply try it for yourselves...? Compare this to vinyl, a radio or CD player and does it beg the potential erosion (frog boiling) privacy creep question...?

    I don’t know what the hell you're trying to say.

    The issue isn’t whether Apple has any data stored about you (they obviously do). It’s what they do (or rather, don’t do) with your data that determines privacy. And in that regard Apple is in a completely different league than Facebook, Google or Twitter.
    baconstangwilliamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 40
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 511member
    Where is the non-Scribd version of Apple' response?  It's really crappy that you have to use their stupid services.  GET THIS:  I NEVER WILL BE A FACEBOOK USER.  Please think of an another service to host your documents without us to log in for use us to download documents.  I value my privacy, seems like you guys don't!
    baconstangwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 40
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    macseeker said:
    GET THIS:  I NEVER WILL BE A FACEBOOK USER.  Please think of an another service to host your documents without us to log in for use us to download documents.
    What does facebook have to do with anything? Just make a throwaway email and a throwaway account.
  • Reply 26 of 40
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 276member
    anome said:
    Soli said:
    I feel like the phrase "the customer is not our product" is either not understood or has been said so much that it's now just noise being uttered without any real meaning to people that don't like to consider the details (i.e.: non-intellectual types).

    I also think one could argue that Zuckerberg could also say "the customer is not our product" because the billion plus people that use FB are the product, and that the advertising firms are the customers.

    Cook's long-form statement is clear, but I think he still needs a succinct affirmation that doesn't use the commonplace and incomplete mantra. Perhaps something like, "we do not profit from your personal data," "we don't sell user data to advertisers," "human beings are our customers, not advertisers." Or, just getting right down to the nitty-gritty and stating that it's in Apple's best financial interest to keep user data as safe and secure as possible.
    A better way to phrase it would be "The user is not our product." Although the distinction between customer and user is only significant with something like Facebook or Google, where they make most of their money out of selling user eyeballs to advertising companies..
    You mean like AppleInsider? And every newspaper you read? So you _are_ the product.
  • Reply 27 of 40
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,404member
    Anachr0n said:
    Even though it’s generally known that Apple doesn’t profit from mining and selling user information, these committees HAVE to ask Apple how/what they collect. If only to document how Apple does things. This is actually a good opportunity for Apple to differentiate itself from the others. 
    It's only "generally known" by ubernerds like us. The general public and the witness luddites in Congress haven't got the faintest clue about this stuff. We have to remember that more often in discussions like this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 40
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,317administrator
    macseeker said:
    Where is the non-Scribd version of Apple' response?  It's really crappy that you have to use their stupid services.  GET THIS:  I NEVER WILL BE A FACEBOOK USER.  Please think of an another service to host your documents without us to log in for use us to download documents.  I value my privacy, seems like you guys don't!
    What does Facebook have anything to do with this?
    edited August 2018 gatorguywilliamlondon
  • Reply 29 of 40
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 181member
    Apple needs to specify what is "hate speech" that is used to ban apps and pod casts. There should be quantifiable measures, not whatever Politifact or SPLC say. Otherwise, they start down a slippery slope where unliked speech becomes hate speech.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 30 of 40
    spacekid said:
    Apple needs to specify what is "hate speech" that is used to ban apps and pod casts. There should be quantifiable measures, not whatever Politifact or SPLC say. Otherwise, they start down a slippery slope where unliked speech becomes hate speech.

    Hardly. I can use Safari on an iOS device to visit any sites I want from pornography to Infowars to white supremacy groups. Apple doesn’t censor any of that. They only block content from The App Store/iTunes. I don’t have any issue with that. If they start filtering Safari, then......
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 40
    spacekid said:
    Apple needs to specify what is "hate speech" that is used to ban apps and pod casts. There should be quantifiable measures, not whatever Politifact or SPLC say. Otherwise, they start down a slippery slope where unliked speech becomes hate speech.

    Hardly. I can use Safari on an iOS device to visit any sites I want from pornography to Infowars to white supremacy groups. Apple doesn’t censor any of that. They only block content from The App Store/iTunes. I don’t have any issue with that. If they start filtering Safari, then......
  • Reply 32 of 40
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,761member
    ireland said:
    I should hope they value our privacy considering what they are charging for their products. Even squeezing us for iCloud change.
    What? 50gb of iCloud is a buck a month. That's cheap. My house hold shares it on via Family Sharing so it costs even less per person.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 40
    FolioFolio Posts: 698member
    macseeker said:
    Where is the non-Scribd version of Apple' response?  It's really crappy that you have to use their stupid services.  GET THIS:  I NEVER WILL BE A FACEBOOK USER.  Please think of an another service to host your documents without us to log in for use us to download documents.  I value my privacy, seems like you guys don't!
    What does Facebook have anything to do with this?
    One option to access is via Facebook sign in. If you don't wish to do that or set up Scribd, try Bloomberg below for the full letter. Also might check more skeptical story today by Sarah Frier, who notes some weak links in Notes app and in Apple developers:

    https://assets.bwbx.io/documents/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/rg5Kb.hn528o/v0
  • Reply 34 of 40
    FolioFolio Posts: 698member
    Apple, while a leader among the tech titans in privacy, can still do much more, both in telling its story to the public and in improving options/safeguards for users. It gets much harder of course in transition zone with developers and ISPs. Here's the Bloomberg story link:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-08/is-apple-really-your-privacy-hero?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=bd&utm_campaign=headline&cmpId=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo


    Also via Sarah Frier Twitter link to Apple Developer page:
    developer.apple.com/documentation
  • Reply 35 of 40
    FolioFolio Posts: 698member
    Soli said:
    anome said:
    Soli said:
    I feel like the phrase "the customer is not our product" is either not understood or has been said so much that it's now just noise being uttered without any real meaning to people that don't like to consider the details (i.e.: non-intellectual types).

    I also think one could argue that Zuckerberg could also say "the customer is not our product" because the billion plus people that use FB are the product, and that the advertising firms are the customers.

    Cook's long-form statement is clear, but I think he still needs a succinct affirmation that doesn't use the commonplace and incomplete mantra. Perhaps something like, "we do not profit from your personal data," "we don't sell user data to advertisers," "human beings are our customers, not advertisers." Or, just getting right down to the nitty-gritty and stating that it's in Apple's best financial interest to keep user data as safe and secure as possible.
    A better way to phrase it would be "The user is not our product." Although the distinction between customer and user is only significant with something like Facebook or Google, where they make most of their money out of selling user eyeballs to advertising companies. (Metaphorically, that is. Although nothing would surprise me at this point.)
    👍
    "We sell iPhones not eyeballs"
    Hahaha! Yes, Apple's got to find some way to do it without sounding sanctimonious too. I don't think many nerds even grasp the sort of dynamic picture of personal activity, desires, purchases, near purchases, etc that will arise a few years from now from data mining, machine learning, from all the connected devices and contacts etc etc. As the public becomes more aware of privacy issues, how far do you think Apple's share of phone and wearables will move? Five percentage points? 15 points? I've yet to see any speculation on this, but Apple has a long runway,
  • Reply 36 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member
    Folio said:
    Apple, while a leader among the tech titans in privacy, can still do much more, both in telling its story to the public and in improving options/safeguards for users. It gets much harder of course in transition zone with developers and ISPs. Here's the Bloomberg story link:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-08/is-apple-really-your-privacy-hero?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=bd&utm_campaign=headline&cmpId=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo


    Also via Sarah Frier Twitter link to Apple Developer page:
    developer.apple.com/documentation
    The Bloomberg story is actually a very good one. Much of what they raised as issues is very much overlooked. In truth Apple's public proclamations on how secure and privacy-forward they are may lead a good percentage of users to assume AppStore content must also be toeing the same lines, lulled into believing just trust what they do and what permissions they want. After all Apple vetted the app already so it must be OK. 
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 37 of 40
    gatorguy said:
    Folio said:
    Apple, while a leader among the tech titans in privacy, can still do much more, both in telling its story to the public and in improving options/safeguards for users. It gets much harder of course in transition zone with developers and ISPs. Here's the Bloomberg story link:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-08/is-apple-really-your-privacy-hero?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=bd&utm_campaign=headline&cmpId=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo


    Also via Sarah Frier Twitter link to Apple Developer page:
    developer.apple.com/documentation
    The Bloomberg story is actually a very good one. Much of what they raised as issues is very much overlooked. In truth Apple's public proclamations on how secure and privacy-forward they are may lead a good percentage of users to assume AppStore content must also be toeing the same lines, lulled into believing just trust what they do and what permissions they want. After all Apple vetted the app already so it must be OK. 
    1) I highly doubt most users even think about security and privacy at all. 2) I have a hard time believing that someone who is aware of Facebook’s data mining, etc. thinks that when they download the Facebook app from the App Store that all that data mining goes away because of Apple’s privacy stance.
  • Reply 38 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,302member
    gatorguy said:
    Folio said:
    Apple, while a leader among the tech titans in privacy, can still do much more, both in telling its story to the public and in improving options/safeguards for users. It gets much harder of course in transition zone with developers and ISPs. Here's the Bloomberg story link:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-08/is-apple-really-your-privacy-hero?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=bd&utm_campaign=headline&cmpId=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo


    Also via Sarah Frier Twitter link to Apple Developer page:
    developer.apple.com/documentation
    The Bloomberg story is actually a very good one. Much of what they raised as issues is very much overlooked. In truth Apple's public proclamations on how secure and privacy-forward they are may lead a good percentage of users to assume AppStore content must also be toeing the same lines, lulled into believing just trust what they do and what permissions they want. After all Apple vetted the app already so it must be OK. 
    1) I highly doubt most users even think about security and privacy at all. 2) I have a hard time believing that someone who is aware of Facebook’s data mining, etc. thinks that when they download the Facebook app from the App Store that all that data mining goes away because of Apple’s privacy stance.
    ...and the other 2 million apps? 

    Even with Facebook it seems sensical that iPhone users of their app might assume they don't have the same worries as Android or desktop users. That's if they think about it at all, which we agree with particularly on iOS which is promoted as not having malware there to begin with. 
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 39 of 40
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    Folio said:
    Apple, while a leader among the tech titans in privacy, can still do much more, both in telling its story to the public and in improving options/safeguards for users. It gets much harder of course in transition zone with developers and ISPs. Here's the Bloomberg story link:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-08/is-apple-really-your-privacy-hero?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=bd&utm_campaign=headline&cmpId=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo


    Also via Sarah Frier Twitter link to Apple Developer page:
    developer.apple.com/documentation
    The Bloomberg story is actually a very good one. Much of what they raised as issues is very much overlooked. In truth Apple's public proclamations on how secure and privacy-forward they are may lead a good percentage of users to assume AppStore content must also be toeing the same lines, lulled into believing just trust what they do and what permissions they want. After all Apple vetted the app already so it must be OK. 
    1) I highly doubt most users even think about security and privacy at all. 2) I have a hard time believing that someone who is aware of Facebook’s data mining, etc. thinks that when they download the Facebook app from the App Store that all that data mining goes away because of Apple’s privacy stance.
    ...and the other 2 million apps? 
    It’s the same. People either don’t think about p&s at all or they’re like us, on a tech forum and DO think about it. Facebook was just an easy example. 

    gatorguy said:

    Even with Facebook it seems sensical that iPhone users of their app might assume they don't have the same worries as Android or desktop users. 
    Not to me. 
  • Reply 40 of 40
    anomeanome Posts: 1,465member
    IreneW said:
    anome said:
    Soli said:
    I feel like the phrase "the customer is not our product" is either not understood or has been said so much that it's now just noise being uttered without any real meaning to people that don't like to consider the details (i.e.: non-intellectual types).

    I also think one could argue that Zuckerberg could also say "the customer is not our product" because the billion plus people that use FB are the product, and that the advertising firms are the customers.

    Cook's long-form statement is clear, but I think he still needs a succinct affirmation that doesn't use the commonplace and incomplete mantra. Perhaps something like, "we do not profit from your personal data," "we don't sell user data to advertisers," "human beings are our customers, not advertisers." Or, just getting right down to the nitty-gritty and stating that it's in Apple's best financial interest to keep user data as safe and secure as possible.
    A better way to phrase it would be "The user is not our product." Although the distinction between customer and user is only significant with something like Facebook or Google, where they make most of their money out of selling user eyeballs to advertising companies..
    You mean like AppleInsider? And every newspaper you read? So you _are_ the product.

    I never said I wasn't, I'm just not Apple's product. I, or some proxy for me, might well be the product as far as Facebook or Google or even AppleInsider are concerned. How valuable a product I am depends on how marketable my search history or Facebook followers are.

    And it'salways been true of newspapers, but newspapers before now didn't have the same range of information available to them to sell to their advertisers. And whatever controls Congress or your local legislature applies to the Googles and the Facebooks should also apply to the New York Times and the Guardians.

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