Why Apple really values your privacy – unlike Google, Facebook, or Amazon

“With every iteration of OS X, iOS, and iCloud, we see Apple add increasing the privacy protections it provides its users,” Rich Mogull writes for Macworld. “It has consistently enabled customers to protect their personal information from advertisers, governments, third-party developers, and even Apple itself.”

“This is a company that destroys the keys to its encryption hardware after setting them up in the data center, just in case an employee decides to sneak in a back door or hand the keys off to a government agency,” Mogull writes. “It designed systems like iMessages that a government could technically force them to sniff, but only with a fundamental change to the system architecture.”

“The question becomes, why? These changes, in some cases, affect usability—popping up reminders and approvals for every application that wants access to location data or our photo libraries, say, or implementing sandboxes that constrain developers (causing some to leave the Mac App Store completely),” Mogull writes. “I believe the answer is profit, with a smidgen of righteous anger.”

Much more in the full article – highly recommendedhere.


  1. But, but, but if the government can’t track all of everyone’s data, the terrorists will win. That makes Apple a terrorist organization. Should we consumers be buying products from a terrorist organization.

    And that is the argument that people with no respect for the Constitution will utter.

  2. I have switched to Duck Duck Go, but for image searches I still have to go to Google.

    Apple’s work is a matter of building trust. Where we are loosing trust in Corporate America, we are gaining trust in Apple. It couldn’t be at a better time….

    I am willing to suffer a little more to know I am safe from prying eyes… I mean, I have nothing to hide, I just don’t want my privates on the Internet.

  3. I’ll believe Apple is interesting in my privacy when they allow LittleSnitch to run on iOS, and make their essential system processes (iOS and OSX) verifiable by some kind of user based audit.

  4. The technical content in Rich Mogull’s article is great. But I take exception to two statements that demonstrate his lack of understanding of Apple’s culture and motivations.

    I believe the answer is profit, with a smidgen of righteous anger.

    Those of us who have stuck with Apple for decades know that is not true. Apple under Steve Jobs (and those who were selected by him to carry on the Apple legacy) never focused on profit. The focus is on making great products that provide a great user experience. The profits naturally follow from that basis. This quote is a huge, flashing warning sign that Rich Mogull only *thinks* that he understands Apple.

    Apple didn’t always place privacy so front and center.

    This is the second warning sign that Rich Mogull does not truly understand Apple. Apple has always valued personal privacy. While it is true that all of the current data protection features in iOS did not exist from the start, that does not mean that Apple did not care about it.

    Again, great technical content – a veritable checklist for key differentiators between Apple and its major competitors. But Mogull still doesn’t quite get it.

    1. A perceptive reading of Mogull’s article. — What about that ‘righteous anger’? The claim is nowhere supported. He correctly locates emotion in the brand-consumer bond, but I don’t see it motivating corporate planning in any way. Their privacy PR may leverage consumer emotions, but it’s just PR. Even the ‘righteous’ IP lawsuits arose naturally for business reasons, not as vendettas. Do you suppose this was just Mogull making a backdoor reference to a passionless Apple lacking the fire of Steve Jobs?

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