Sal C , thank you for your thoughtful responses.
Oleg Dulin
11

Oleg,

You’ve bought into the full Google ecosystem because you were already 3/4 of the way in there. Good for you. However, because of your personal decision you now need to rationalize via your soapbox that it is the right decision for everybody. It isn’t.

While you may think it is the right decision for you, it actually may not be, and certainly is not for some other people. The only things that the Apple and Google privacy policies have in common is that they are both privacy policies of roughly the same length. That’s it. There are plenty of articles which dissect the 2 and summarize the striking differences.

You brought up a few other points. I’d like to address them. Here are my thoughts on them:

1) Sharing data with third parties: it is a world of difference to monetize information and sell derived data to third parties versus sharing anonymized data with third parties who are doing subcontracting work on your behalf. For those, Apple removes identifying information to preserve your privacy. Apple never attempts to monetize any document/text message that you have stored on iCloud, or in their email system. Never. Google does. But you are fine with that, other people such as myself and others, do not want that.

2) The only data that Apple shares with third party developers is anonymized crash reports. That’s it. And that’s only if the user has opted in to the “share data with developers program”. Most people chose not to opt-in.

As an iOS developer I can testify the crash reports are 100% anonymous and only tell you the device model, the stack trace log for the app in question and the day when it happened. That’s it. No way to reach the user, completely cutoff from them. What does Google do?

3) Regarding data analysis to provide more intelligent services, your information is anonymized by Apple via differential privacy algorithms.

As far as providing your data to law enforcement, of course Apple does that — all companies are required by law to do that with any clear text data they have in their possession.

However, Apple is taking steps to ensure that going forward any documents/text messages/emails that you have on iCloud can only be decrypted by the owner of the device. Just like with device encryption, only the possessor of the device passcode can get to the clear text version of the data. Apple is taking a hands off approach by removing their own ability to decrypt your iCloud documents (no more master key), as they already have with cracking your device encryption. Since Google is monetizing your data, by definition they have 100% access to your clear text data so they can never, ever take the same principled stand as Apple.

Answer this, why do you never hear of any case where law enforcement has an issue with cracking Android encryption? You already know the answer.

4) I never said Google was evil. I stated the fact that they have chosen to make money by monetizing your information to third parties. You’re fine with that - good for you. But it certainly is not good for everybody, as individual needs for privacy vary.

Finally, Apple makes the bulk of their money from hardware/software solutions. Because of that and to differentiate themselves from Google they have chosen to bundle privacy in that solution. If they go more and more in the service business as you predict, expect them to use differential privacy as their selling point there as well.

As I said earlier, I have never heard, even once, law enforcement complain about Google’s device encryption methodology. Have you? Is Google even making an attempt to deny that they have master keys for their devices?

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