There’s a common theme running through the spring season of developer conferences and tech events: trust and privacy. With the tech industry facing a backlash from consumers and regulators, tech giants including Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are looking to assure everyone that they’re listening. But each company is approaching the issue in a very different way, and with a very different track record on the topic.
Apple recently pulled songs by pro-democracy artists from its Apple Music service in China, according to a report on Tuesday, suggesting the company has again caved to content gatekeeping requests lodged by the Chinese government.
As Apple unveiled its new Apple Card at a big media event Monday, the company touted what it sees as one of the credit card’s biggest selling points: a “unique security and privacy architecture” that uses a “dynamic security code” to prevent Apple from knowing the key details about the customer’s purchases on the card.
Tesla Inc. accused one of its former engineers of stealing highly confidential autopilot information before bolting to Chinese rival Xpeng Motors, eight months after one of Apple Inc.’s ex-employees was charged with taking sensitive robocar secrets to a new job with that same company.
It’s a foregone conclusion that app makers will get at least some data on how you use their product. How much data do you really expect, though? Maybe which buttons you tap or the length of sessions? According to TechCrunch and analytics company App Analyst, some popular iPhone apps are getting much more. They basically see everything you do in real time, even sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers.
The iCloud security feature has likely cut down on the number of iPhones that have been stolen, but enterprising criminals have found ways to remove iCloud in order to resell devices. To do this, they phish the phone’s original owners, or scam employees at Apple Stores, which have the ability to override iCloud locks. Thieves, coders, and hackers participate in an underground industry designed to remove a user’s iCloud account from a phone so that they can then be resold.
If you re-read the first few chapters of The Innovator’s Dilemma and you insert “Apple” every time Clayton Christensen mentions “a company,” a certain picture emerges: Apple is a company on the verge of being disrupted, and the next great idea in tech and consumer electronics will not materialize from within the walls of its Cupertino spaceship.
A new website exposes the extent to which Apple cooperates with Chinese government internet censorship, blocking access to Western news sources, information about human rights and religious freedoms, and privacy-enhancing apps that would circumvent the country’s pervasive online surveillance regime.
As Facebook deals with the fallout from yet another privacy scandal, it’s worth unpacking how its Research app worked—especially because it serves as a good reminder for other apps you might already be using, particularly virtual private networks. It wasn’t just Facebook: Google also disabled a similar app on iOS devices on Wednesday. Both apps are still available on Android.
Apple said Wednesday that it has banned Facebook from using tools that let businesses control iPhones used by employees, following a news report that the social media giant has been monitoring the browsing habits of teenagers. Reuters reported that Apple took the punitive step a day after TechCrunch published an article saying Facebook has been paying teenagers as young as 13 to install an app called Facebook Research that is used it to monitor their internet browsing habits.