Apple regularly pushes its stance on privacy, working to turn it into a competitive advantage. In the latest in a series of pieces on the company, Wired looks at how its approach to privacy both helps and hinders the company.
Apple is able to do this because its business doesn’t rely on advertising. “Apple doesn’t have that need to have access to data,” independent security researcher Robin Wood says. Google, on the other hand, is one of the world’s biggest advertising companies and can sell ads for greater sums if it knows more about users and their interests. “Because Apple doesn’t have to have the data, they can put the effort into not having it,” Wood says. One such example is found in Apple Maps. Apple says it doesn’t collect detailed journey information: when you travel from home to work, for example, it breaks up the journey into small chunks. This way, it doesn’t hold a complete record of your route (from which it would be easy to identify you). It has also introduced a new technique it calls “fuzzing”: when you search for a destination on your phone, Apple will change the location information it stores to be less precise 24 hours later, meaning it can’t be used to identify where you have been.
Check It Out: Apple’s Privacy Stance Both Helps and Hinders it