Today Apple recognised Data Privacy Day with an in-depth interview between Erik Neuenschwande, the companies head of privacy and journalist and YouTuber Rene Ritchie. The interview went on to discuss Apple’s stance on a number of important privacy issues, Apple’s privacy by design philosophy and how the company aims to minimise data collection.
It’s very important that we’re engaged both to help with issue spotting and to talk about really where we see the risks of the data, or where we see increased sensitivity around attacks that can be mounted on top of data. But at the same time, it’s a partnership with the teams because they’re the ones coming with where they want their domain expertise to take their feature in the future.Erik Neuenschwander, via 9to5 Mac
It leads to much improved and richer functionality for users. And what we bring along with them is looking at how we can take the increasing use of privacy-preserving technologies and the increasing power of our devices to bring that functionality forward with a very light touch on the users’ data.
For many years now Apple has taken a pretty tough stance on user privacy. From fighting for end to end encryption to targeting rogue data collection practices via app tracking transparency. Apple doesn’t always get it right of course and last years announcement of CSAM scanning and child protection features were resolutely rejected by privacy advocates. So much so that users rebelled and Apple turned course. At least for now. This was due to the way in which the features were implemented, less the goal of the feature. Nobody wants CSAM to be allowed to run rampant but that shouldn’t also mean trading away privacy. And Apple’s delayed roll out of the feature is an acknowledgement that they need to find a better solution.
On the whole its fair to say that few tech companies (and even fewer tech giants) have advocated for privacy in the way that Apple has. In just the past year Apple introduced new features like iCloud private relay and ‘Hide my Email’. And it’ll be a huge win for users if Apple continues to invest in this important area of our digital lives.