An ad on a black background with white lettering says, “What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone,” went up days before the start of the 2019 CES. This multi-story ad on the side of a Marriott building which is right next to the Las Vegas Convention Center will be seen by every person who attends this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Though Apple has never been physically present at CES, its presence is usually felt due to the attendance as exhibitors of its device and accessory makers. But this year its presence will be on minds of everyone attending after seeing the aforementioned ad.
In the last few years, Amazon and Google have been the top subjects of conversation at the annual convention, but this year Apple is sure to be the one everyone’s talking about with that ad on their minds.
Conversations about privacy issues in particular which is what the ad is taking a jab at in reference to Alexa’s embarrassing privacy goof-up of sending a recording of a private conversation to another user then on another occasion sending over a thousand voice recordings from one user to another. And then of course Google is being accused of exploiting user data for commercial gain and not to mention privacy infractions by Android and of course privacy breaches by FaceBook.
So it seems, the ad is a challenge for all companies to not only join the dialogue for privacy issues and protecting and preventing the misuse of end user data but to also challenge them to reaffirm their commitment to be part of the effort to that end.
It is well known that Apple has always been a strong privacy advocate, even to go against the law to safeguard its privacy policies for the user’s sake if it had to. And it is a strong voice in calling for tougher regulations in the matter of companies using customer data. To protect its users, Apple implements special features to protect them even from Facebook, Google and other companies’ cookies’ from tracking their customers. Apple keeps these companies from ‘fingerprinting’ their customers if their customers don’t want to be.
“We believe your private data should remain private,” says Apple software senior VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi .
And so let’s hope that Apple’s black and white ad will not only spark conversation on privacy issues but keep it going until all companies take a firm position to commit themselves to protecting and preventing the misuse of end user data.