Apple Posts New Webpage With an Open Letter on Privacy

Apple Security
09.22.14
Q.C. Crea

Apple Security

Amid accusations of loose security of their iCloud application, Apple has launched a website with an open letter from CEO Tim Cook assuring customers that Apple’s systems are safe. 

Some may say that the letter is twofold: 

  1. To put customer’s minds to rest and strengthen their brand
  2. To slap Google in the face

Before we get to Apple slapping Google in the face, let’s take a look back to the now infamous (or depending on who you ask, awesome) Labor Day weekend when hundreds of private pictures of celebrities were taken from iCloud. 

What Is Apple’s Promise To You?

This caused much “rabble-rabble” about the pros and cons of cloud hosting, but in the end Apple’s investigation determined that the pictures were not stolen as a result of a “hack.” They also cautioned users to make stronger passwords and be wary of how they share their private information. 

But over this past weekend, more pictures were released and more concern was raised about cloud security (even though these new pictures were probably stolen with the first batch, but the release was delayed—for effect, you know?). 

This may have caused Apple to release Tim Cook’s open letter about iCloud security.

Cook’s opening statement draws the reader in by ensuring that the fine folks at Apple, “respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.” 

That’s all well and good, especially since Apple got even “better” PR by putting a brand new U2 album on everyone’s devices for free. And people complained of that too, saying that it invaded their privacy or that they hated U2 (the majority was a mixture of both with a strong lean towards the latter). 

But along with putting U2 on everyone’s account, Apple also announced a new line of iPhone’s which released last Friday with the pomp and circumstance one could only expect from Apple. Coupled with a brand new (third-party friendly) mobile operating system—iOS 8—people seem to have forgotten about the little security hiccups of only a few weeks ago, again in a way only Apple could manage. 

More boldly, Apple’s new iPhones support something called “Apple Pay” which stores your credit card information on your phone so you can pay by tapping your phones against a device on supported Point Of Sale (POS) systems. 

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but maybe announcing storing everyone’ s credit card information wasn’t the smartest thing to announce so close after “CelebGate.” 

And that, to me, is reason No. 1 for Tim Cook’s open letter on Apple privacy. 

Now, let’s move on to slapping Google in the face. 

Why Apple Won’t Really Steal Your Information


Many of us would not like to slap Google in the face because so many of us rely on Google to answer the tough questions of our everyday lives. In fact, I used it to look up the local pizza joint last night and it was much easier than those horror-stories my parents used to tell me / scattered, fuzzy memories of something called a “phone book.” 

But I guess Apple wants to slap Google in the face, if backhandedly through an open letter that’s supposed to calm the nerves of their consumers. 

Everyone who’s anyone knows that most things in life aren’t just free. And that goes for the internet, specifically Google. Yes, they’re a company, yes they want to make money, and yes one source of income is selling your information to advertisers and other such despicable creatures (no disrespect, just let me eat my pizza without predicting that I like sausage and pepperoni—that’s a very private detail of my life). 

Check out Apple’s business model in their open letter:

“Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.”

Woah, calm down now Apple. I appreciate what you’re saying, and I thank you, but don’t turn this into another slugfest like you did with Samsung. In fact, do more doing and less saying and prove that your systems are as secure as you say. 

Although, if you’re really concerned about the privacy of your data, you could always… you know… host on a dedicated server and not a cloud. But, that’s none of my business.


(h/t ReadWrite)

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