The real issue that Apple is trying to address is not really privacy, but rather security. Though Google has all of my data, it is still private. Google does not sell access to my data; it sells access to my attention. Advertisers do not get my information from Google. So as long as I trust Google’s employees, the only two potential breaches of my privacy are from the government or from a hacker. If we accept this as a fact, the fundamental privacy question changes from, “Do you respect my privacy?” to “Is the user experience improvement worth the security risk to my private information?”
Dustin Curtis hits the nail on the head so hard the nail’s on its way to Fiji.
“the only two potential breaches of my privacy are from the government or from a hacker”
– Yourself by providing too much info (facebook, 4chan, …)
– Your friends
– Your haters
The question should have never been “Do you respect my privacy?”, that is a squishy softball question… It should be “Can I trust you with my privacy?”. I think that in reality the answer to that question is no, pretty much universally, irrespective of the company.
As for the second question, instead of â€œIs the user experience improvement worth the security risk to my private information?â€, it should be “Is the user experience improvement worth giving up my privacy?”, because since we don’t trust them there simply isn’t any real privacy to begin with.
I’m not knocking Google. I even think that the gist of the article is right – Apple is missing out in a big way by giving up on the opportunities that arise from collecting user data. Thing is Google and Facebook and whatnot have already won imo – Apple taking a hard line stance on privacy is too little way too late.
My point isn’t to pick on Google’s business model, I just think we should recognize that no one really trusts them. No one really should trust them.
We are simply trading information for goodies. Its not private information anymore, its just information. It stopped being private the minute we stopped trusting them… Did we even ever start trusting them?
I agree with most of what Dustin Curtis says. However there is a fallacy in his argument: the false dichotomy that we must choose between privacy and great personalized services. This is based on the assumption that great services must be cloud based. That is generally true today, and it’s certainly Google’s business model, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There should be no reason why private intelligent agents (running on your private smartphone or PC) can’t provide great personalized services too. I’m hoping that is Apple’s long term plan.