It’s often easy to lump in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon into the same pot. After all, they’re all big tech companies that focus on innovation, bring addictive gadgets, services, or both to consumers, and make tons of money off of our desires for the latest and greatest. They’re all evil to some extent, right?
Actually, the one thing that the others rely on at their core and that Apple does not really take into consideration is personal data. They do not want to know what you’re doing like Facebook and Google. They do not keep track of what you searched for or what you’ve purchased like Amazon and Microsoft. They do not have massive stores (to our knowledge) of personal information that they use to compile profiles for a personalized experience (in other words, something that they can sell or use to make money through advertising and product recommendations).
They make cool gadgets. They sell music and movies. They aren’t about prying into our personal lives. This is a huge differentiator in a world where privacy decisions are being made at extreme rates of speed. A conflict of interests arises surrounding every business model of the giants in tech… all except for Apple.
This all comes through a report (PDF) in which they made sure to highlight this distinction. It explains their stance on privacy by saying, “Our business does not depend on collecting personal data.”
Titled “Report on Government Information Requests” is different from others that are released by other companies because it breaks it all down by account and device. They have never been the most transparent company in the world but when it comes to the ways that the various governments of the world try to get to our data and make use of it for their privacy-busting needs, it’s refreshing to see that someone doesn’t care whether or not we went to the Justin Bieber concert last night (we didn’t, but that’s none of their business) or what we’re emailing our cousin in Israel about. We just want to do our thing and stay protected from the outside forces that want to harm us.
Unfortunately, it seems more and more that those outside forces might be the governments themselves.
“Privacy” image courtesy of Shutterstock.