How will Tim Cook handle privacy with Apple Car?

Thoughts on Apple Car, Part 105

Bloomberg ran a story in December, comparing how today’s tech giants try to own as much of our 24 hours a day as possible:

One thing stands out in the analysis:

Travel time remains a largely unexploited opportunity, and tech giants sense a window to sell further content and services.
That’s why so many want to get into the automotive business:
A customer in a self-driving car has more time to watch films or shop online, while mobile connectivity in cars increases the opportunity to suggest nearby shops or restaurants, generating ad income.

These last three words are important. They are key for us for understanding how to distinguish the approach of the different players. It turns out that for three of the Big Four, the user really is the product and data is the money.

The only one who tries to create a unique market positioning out of a consequent stance for privacy is Apple.

Here’s Tim Cook talking to MSNBC just yesterday:

How will this work in the car?

Certainly, Apple will try to sell a great product with a superb user experience. They will not make commercial use of travel data, or anything related to destination, purpose or company of each ride. Any data they collect will need to reinforce the user experience in a respectful and anonymous manner.

Google is much less about the car as a product itself, and will take any car as a basis for its data collection system. Waymo is designed to work with almost any car.


We can look at Apple, having built trust on privacy issues in the past years, as the most capable player to deliver services and features that go deeply into your private spheres – think FaceTime – many of which we would think are creepy if it wasn’t for the trust Apple has earned with us.

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