Apple privacy ad personifies web trackers as overly-obsessed stalkers

Polycount

Posts: 2,862   +575
Staff member
Privacy: Though just about every tech company in the world tracks you to some extent, Apple has always prided itself on limiting those practices to the bare minimum. Time and time again Apple has championed the cause of data privacy, even objecting to unlocking the phones of alleged criminals to avoid setting a dangerous precedent for its users.

Apple is still a corporation at the end of the day, and it's not as if they never do anything anti-consumer (right to repair, anyone?). But where privacy is concerned, iPhones are often the better option than much of the competition (not taking into account any other key considerations like price, value, hardware configuration, or customizability).

That point was hammered home recently with the launch of Apple's long-awaited App Tracking Transparency feature for iOS 14.5. The tool allows users to block apps from tracking them if they so desire, and it has already been enabled by a whopping 96 percent of users if recent analytics are to be believed.

As you'd expect, Apple is pretty proud of the functionality's success, and has decided to make the feature a focal point of its latest ad, aptly called "Tracked" -- see that above.

Throughout the ad, the user gathers more and more stalkers (trackers), each more invasive than the last. They dig through his personal belongings at home, swipe copies of his financial documents and stare over his shoulder at his phone screen. Earlier in the video, a barista even forces his way into the user's taxi.

In the end, our protagonist denies data collection permissions, and all of the stalkers evaporate on the spot. It's an amusing, relatable, and remarkably well-directed ad, so we recommend giving it a watch if you haven't already -- even if you aren't an Apple fan.

Permalink to story.

 

psycros

Posts: 3,490   +4,139
Apple is still the richest company on Earth despite never having sold out its users to marketers. Meanwhile you can't install the Google store on Android without agreeing to let Google spy on you. New top-end phones running iOS or Android cost about the same. Almost nobody in the free world actually gets an Android phone repaired so the right-to-repair argument is, for all intents, virtually meaningless. For most people iPhones are easier to use and the apps are a lot more trustworthy. At day's end, despite a lot of shifty anti-consumer practices over the years, Apple is still a better option for most people..particularly if they value their privacy.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,417   +2,743
TechSpot Elite
Apple is still the richest company on Earth despite never having sold out its users to marketers. Meanwhile you can't install the Google store on Android without agreeing to let Google spy on you. New top-end phones running iOS or Android cost about the same. Almost nobody in the free world actually gets an Android phone repaired so the right-to-repair argument is, for all intents, virtually meaningless. For most people iPhones are easier to use and the apps are a lot more trustworthy. At day's end, despite a lot of shifty anti-consumer practices over the years, Apple is still a better option for most people..particularly if they value their privacy.
1. If you think Apple doesn't collect and profit off of user data just because they aren't so forward about it, you've been fooled. If it wasn't for the App Store raking in the money, I bet we wouldn't see this push at all.
Heck, the App Store is even where Apple profits off of apps that also do exactly that (and are now probably worse off with the new policies) lol.

2. Most people don't care if there is tracking, because they don't have the hassle of paying for this and that (whether you think that's stupid or inconsequential is up to you). Consumers are usually cheap [insert creative word here].
And now the pendulum is swinging back from "free with data tracking" to "paid with no tracking". And who knows exactly what that will look like. Remember, it only swung towards the former because of convenience. And if iOS will conveniently default tracking to "off", then it will be left off for most people.

3. You don't understand right to repair if you so ignorantly say that it's meaningless. It's not just about being able to repair a broken screen or the such, it's also about being able to fix a damaged phone to get personal data off of it. Or maybe you don't have the money to replace it. Or maybe you want to be friendly to the environment. That's something that Apple could care less about and indirectly prevents. The other big Android brands are guilty of it too, but not to the degree that Apple pursues this revenue stream.

4. iOS does tend to be easier to use. But easier doesn't always equal better. And then the illusion of trustworthiness is mainly because of good PR.
I mean, I guess I can trust Apple products to have a premium to help pad their trillion dollar worth, so maybe you have something there ;)


So yeah, all the big tech companies suck when it comes to caring about consumers. And I'm not going to reward Apple for being a bit more privacy focused as a good PR move. The best phone is the one that you think is the best for you. And if you really care that much about privacy, root an Android and install a privacy focused OS (or have fun trying to jailbreak an iPhone that you "own" to do the same).
 

ypsylon

Posts: 365   +286
Apple is still the richest company on Earth despite never having sold out its users to marketers. Meanwhile you can't install the Google store on Android without agreeing to let Google spy on you. New top-end phones running iOS or Android cost about the same. Almost nobody in the free world actually gets an Android phone repaired so the right-to-repair argument is, for all intents, virtually meaningless. For most people iPhones are easier to use and the apps are a lot more trustworthy. At day's end, despite a lot of shifty anti-consumer practices over the years, Apple is still a better option for most people..particularly if they value their privacy.

Of course it is. You can literally prevent all data gathering every day if you're totally paranoid. Just go to AppleID and delete everything everyday. Hardly useful, but possible.

In all my time using few Apple devices I came across, I've never received unsolicited e-mails, phone calls, adverts or web suggestions about topics I was searching in previous days.

Android LOL!


 

Bobbydpue

Posts: 167   +104
"The tool allows users to block apps from tracking them if they so desire"

Let me fix that for you:

"The tool allows users to block non-Apple apps from tracking them if they so desire" Apple still gets all of your usage data to use as they see fit.
 

Bobbydpue

Posts: 167   +104
"Almost nobody in the free world actually gets an Android phone repaired so the right-to-repair argument is, for all intents, virtually meaningless."

Clearly you are an Apple fan boy so how would you know? Do you work in an electronics repair shop? Clearly if no one gets an Android phone repaired no one would make parts for them or offer services to fix them, but people do make and sell parts for them and people do repair them.

"For most people iPhones are easier to use and the apps are a lot more trustworthy." Based on what objective data? Either OS is just as easy as the other and once a person gets used to one going to the other is more difficult than staying on the platform they are used to. A lot more trustworthy? Has there been a single malware infected App on IOS?

"You can literally prevent all data gathering every day if you're totally paranoid." You think Apple really lets you prevent all data gathering? Just because you don't get a targeted ad, email or phone call doesn't mean Apple isn't using or selling your personal data.

"Meanwhile you can't install the Google store on Android without agreeing to let Google spy on you." You can't use an iPhone without agreeing to let Apple spy on you. Below is a quote from Apple's latest privacy policy:

"When you create an Apple ID, apply for commercial credit, purchase and/or activate a product or device, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Store, connect to our services, contact us (including by social media), participate in an online survey, or otherwise interact with Apple, we may collect a variety of information, including:
• Account Information. Your Apple ID and related account details, including email address, devices registered, account status, and age
• Device Information. Data from which your device could be identified, such as device serial number, or about your device, such as browser type
• Contact Information. Data such as name, email address, physical address, phone number, or other contact information
• Payment Information. Data about your billing address and method of payment, such as bank details, credit, debit, or other payment card information
• Transaction Information. Data about purchases of Apple products and services or transactions facilitated by Apple, including purchases on Apple platforms
• Fraud Prevention Information. Data used to help identify and prevent fraud, including a device trust score
• Usage Data. Data about your activity on and use of our offerings, such as app launches within our services, including browsing history; search history; product interaction; crash data, performance and other diagnostic data; and other usage data
• Location Information. Precise location only to support Find My, and coarse location
• Health Information. Data relating to the health status of an individual, including data related to one’s physical or mental health or condition. Personal health data also includes data that can be used to make inferences about or detect the health status of an individual. If you participate in a study using an Apple Health Research Study app, the policy governing the privacy of your personal data is described in the Apple Health Study Apps Privacy Policy.
• Fitness Information. Details relating to your fitness and exercise information where you choose to share them
• Financial Information. Details including salary, income, and assets information where collected, and information related to Apple-branded financial offerings
• Government ID Data. In certain jurisdictions, we may ask for a government-issued ID in limited circumstances, including when setting up a wireless account and activating your device, for the purpose of extending commercial credit, managing reservations, or as required by law
• Other Information You Provide to Us. Details such as the content of your communications with Apple, including interactions with customer support and contacts through social media channels

You are not required to provide the personal data that we have requested. However, if you choose not to do so, in many cases we will not be able to provide you with our products or services or respond to requests
you may have."
 
Last edited:

Ravey

Posts: 298   +129
Personally I find the whole Apple vs Android debate totally meaningless. As individuals we all have our own prefernces when it comes to our choice of technology and our tolerancy to invasian of privacy.

Yep, on my phone I enjoy total prvacy. I don't want apple constantly hounding me about "things that interest me" and they don't. I get what I want. The flip side is, I do want Google to know more about my personal life so they can point out products I might find useful and tv shows ill enjoy watching. Okay sometimes it's a bit creepy when google recomends something from a private conversation I had with my partner... (I unplugged my google home after one too may odd coincidences).

Overall I feel I have a good balance of privacy over convienience.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,133   +3,009
Android asks you wether you allow or not an app to track you. It's just when it comes to Google services they don't really give you a choice, either accept or you don't use their services, simple as that. It's pretty much the same with Apple, they seem a little bit more agressive when it comes to 3rd party apps tracking but what makes people think Apple themselves don't track you? They might not even ask for your permission in some cases. Basically, both Apple and Google can block 3rd party tracking but both track you themselves and if you refuse you're left with a brick.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,675   +3,544
TechSpot Elite
Almost nobody in the free world actually gets an Android phone repaired so the right-to-repair argument is, for all intents, virtually meaningless.
I've repaired my own phones and helped friends all the time. Hell, I've personally bought the parts and fixed some of my phones (changing screens, batteries, etc). You are just insulting everyone here by writing that and you know it.

I can buy both the parts and the tools to do repairs in bed for Android phones. Even if by miracle I find these things for an iPhone I am blocked by Apple. This is just stupid, profit over everything.

edit: ok ok, sorry. I won't make fun of him anymore. :)
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 422   +558
Apple is still the richest company on Earth despite never having sold out its users to marketers. Meanwhile you can't install the Google store on Android without agreeing to let Google spy on you. New top-end phones running iOS or Android cost about the same. Almost nobody in the free world actually gets an Android phone repaired so the right-to-repair argument is, for all intents, virtually meaningless. For most people iPhones are easier to use and the apps are a lot more trustworthy. At day's end, despite a lot of shifty anti-consumer practices over the years, Apple is still a better option for most people..particularly if they value their privacy.
How much money are they making on selling the default phone tracking service to Google?
They are selling out. More than anyone else. They just brainwash you into re-sharing this lie, over and over, until you clearly can't tell what's right or wrong any longer.
 

Raunchy

Posts: 21   +6
Almost nobody in the free world actually gets an Android phone repaired so the right-to-repair argument is, for all intents, virtually meaningless.
How does that follow? And it's only meaningless in regard to this tracking issue.