In brief: While Apple doesn’t officially appear at CES, the company has made sure it’s a topic of conversation by taking out a giant ad that emphases Cupertino’s focus on privacy.
Spotted by Engadget’s Chris Velazco, Apple’s trollish ad is a play on the famous phrase: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” changing the “in Vegas” parts to “on your iPhone.” The black and white image also includes an outline of an iPhone XS and Apple’s privacy webpage address.
The massive billboard isn’t far from the convention center where CES takes place, so it will doubtlessly be seen by thousands of attendees, as well as companies showing off their wares.
2018 was the year when users’ privacy and what companies do with this information was thrust into the spotlight. The biggest culprit was, of course, Facebook, which found itself making headlines numerous times throughout the last 12 months. Cambridge Analytica, data-sharing agreements, security issues, exposed photos, and special relationships with other firms all led the social network to be voted the least-trusted tech company.
But it wasn’t just Facebook that came under criticism for its less than stellar approach to privacy and security. Google announced it was closing Google+ after discovering a bug that exposed some private user data to third parties. The company brought the shuttering date forward following the discovery of another data leak in December.
In October, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out against the ethics of Big Data companies and those that supply them the personal information of customers. At a European privacy conference, he reiterated that Apple believed “the customer is not our product,” a message that’s being repeated at CES.