28 July 2020
Apple is back at CES after 28 years but not with the new products, just in case you were waiting impatiently. It has rather arrived to talk on one major aspect, privacy, something it takes pride in. In fact, Apple didn’t even conduct a dedicated stage to talk on the growing concern. The company was rather invited to a session titled “Chief Privacy Officer Roundtable: What Do Consumers Want?” for discussion with other panelists.
The panel featured Jane Horvath, Apple’s senior director of global privacy; Eric Egan, Facebook’s VP of public policy and chief privacy officer for policy; Susan Shook, global privacy officer of Procter & Gamble; and Rebecca Slaughter, a Federal Trade Commissioner.
The discussion brought out nothing new as it was more about how the companies have always been the privacy-focused companies; how they handle privacy and what steps do they follow to maintain congruity.
At Apple, the way we define privacy is to put the consumers in the driver's seat. They should have control over their data, they should have choices over their data.
And, Facebook’s executive brought the company's privacy-focused tool to carry forward the discussion. Egan continued, “you can offer a privacy-protected ad business model and we do.” And, there was reportedly a scornful laugh in the audience.
FTC Commissioner Slaughter was concerned about the consumers and said that the burden must not be placed on the consumers.
Facebook’s long list of scandals or data breach is not hidden to anyone and this definitely gives Apple an edge over the social media giant to convince consumers on the biggest concern.
Apple has always put consumers’ privacy first and it is more dedicated to living by its promises than others. CEO Tim Cook repeatedly admits that privacy is a fundamental human right and he also wants governments around the world to restrict the consumption of the data by the companies.
But that doesn’t mean that Apple never had any privacy issues. Last year, the company apologized allowing contractors to listen to commands that users gave to their voice assistant Siri. The company later pledged to bring changes that could give users a few ways to opt-in to such a process.
Note that while Apple has come to CES after years, it didn’t shy away from putting a billboard at last year’s CES conveying “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” The message was clear and this year too, Apple is further boasting of its virtue and why not when it is nearly matchless.