Among all the cool features that the iPhone has, it is surprising that one of its advertising campaigns focuses on something as boring and little demanded as privacy. When you buy an Apple product you probably buy it for its exclusivity, power, design, simplicity… but few will buy it for its privacy. So why does Apple want to sell us its privacy?
Mainly because its competition in the world of technology does not, or at least not as it should. Google and Facebook’s business is your data and Apple’s is not, so that’s where they can score a point, since for the moment they can afford to give up that part of the pie in exchange for positioning themselves as a company that protects their users.
But let’s not forget that Apple, more than privacy, likes to make money. A lot of it. They do nothing for the love of art and even less for the love of the user.
There are several ways in which Apple profits from its stance on privacy. First, there is advertising. By being the privacy-focused tech company in an age when privacy is increasingly talked about, Apple is putting itself in a prominent position.
Apple makes most of its money selling products and services. And it charges a lot for those products and services. For this reason, Apple doesn’t need to invade your privacy; it doesn’t fit its business model (yet).
Companies like Google and Facebook, on the other hand, offer a catalog of free or low-cost services that make money from advertising. And in the 21st century, advertising is all about data. That’s why you get ads relevant to your interests, activity and location. By collecting data, Google and Facebook can improve the effectiveness of their advertising, allowing them to charge higher rates for their ads.
And this is where we get to the “business” side of Apple’s privacy stance. First, for Apple there is no monetary advantage to ignoring privacy, as selling ads and data is not part of their business model. Second, fighting for stricter privacy laws and adopting greater privacy policies directly hurts their competitors, which is a huge advantage for them. Their pro-privacy bet is undoubtedly an attack on Google, especially the Android ecosystem.
We all want safer and more private products, international regulations go that way and having the (interested) support of a giant like Apple guarantees its success while damaging the bottom line of companies that traffic with our personal data. This damage for some will be small but for others it will be huge and as proof, this video.