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CES 2019: Apple touts its privacy practice while Amazon and Google unveil new devices

Apple wants CES attendees to note that its privacy practice is best in the industry, but is it?

  • Published: January 7, 2019 12:39 PM IST
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Source: Chris Velazco/Twitter


As Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kickstarts in Las Vegas Convention Centre, there was surprise waiting for the attendees in the form of Apple. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker has never participated in CES but this year, it has put up a giant ad that takes a stab at companies like Amazon and Google displaying new products with their digital assistants built into them. “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone,” the company says in a giant ad on the side of the building in Las Vegas. The company is smartly using the phrase ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ to advertise its privacy page and practice as the technology industry struggles to differentiate their product from privacy abuse.

Below the message is a link to apple.com/privacy, a dedicated page where Apple talks in length about how its services like Apple Pay, Face ID and devices like Apple Watch store data securely on the device. The ad is placed in such a prominent position that every person attending the biggest tech event in the US will see it at least once. Apple has never made a formal presence at CES, but accessories makers have used the show as a platform to introduce new products for Apple’s latest iPhones. This year is expected to be no different but the difference being that Amazon and Google have taken that prominent position with almost every device at the show floor wanting to be smart and supporting Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Apple’s advertisement is a white text on black background, a stark contrast to Google‘s black text on white canvas for its booth at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. In some ways, Apple is right to tout about its privacy practice, which is arguably the best in the industry. In comparison, Google is being scrutinized for allowing developers to read Gmail, and Amazon was found recording a private conversation and sending it to a different user or sending 1,700 voice recording of a user to another by mistake, the ad balances out the industry and its practice.

Watch: Apple iPad Pro 2018 Hands-On

While Apple may have superior privacy policy than rivals, it does not champion it either. The company makes $9 billion from Google every year for staying as default search engine on iPhone. It has been found to have faulted on users in instances where AccuWeather app was found grabbing Wi-Fi router data to pinpoint iPhone user locations and The Intercept reported that iPhone secretly sends call history to Apple. Apple trolling other tech giants for their data policy makes sense but it needs to strengthen its products and also offer same level of protection around the world to really mean what is on that billboard.

  • Published Date: January 7, 2019 12:39 PM IST