Mossberg: Apple’s latest product is privacy

“In effect, privacy itself is now a key product — and a key marketing point — for Apple, as much as the Apple Watch or the skinny new MacBook,” Walt Mossberg writes for Re/code. “Apple CEO Tim Cook has led the charge, in speeches, TV appearances, and in an unusual personal message to Apple customers that tops a detailed privacy website that the company now hosts.”

“That’s contrary to the race to the cloud embraced by much of the tech industry,” Mossberg writes. “For instance, Google computers scan your Gmail to better target ads at you. And the search giant urges people to sign in to all its cloud-based services — even on Apple devices — so each can learn more about you, both to improve the information they serve up and to better target ads.”

“Cook and Apple also deserve credit for publicly and repeatedly rebuffing government calls for policies that would make it easier for spy agencies to probe encrypted Apple hardware,” Mossberg writes. “It will be up to consumers whether Apple’s privacy crusade becomes a hit product or only elicits shrugs. They will decide whether they prefer the benefits they get from trading privacy in the cloud to those they get from Apple’s approach.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s tough to reconcile Apple’s privacy push with Google as Safari’s default search enigne and Facebook integrated into Apple’s operating systems’ sharing services.


Apple looks to be building an alternative to the Google-branded, hand-over-your-privacy ‘Internet Experience’ – June 11, 2015
Understanding Apple and privacy – June 8, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants – September 18, 2014

Analyst: Google faces ‘significant’ blow if Apple dumps them from Safari – February 5, 2015
Yahoo gains further US search share; Google falls below 75% for first time – February 3, 2015
Microsoft, Yahoo vie to become Apple Safari’s default search option – November 26, 2014
Firefox dumps Google for default U.S. search, switches to Yahoo/Bing – November 20, 2014


  1. MDN clearly dislikes Facebook, as they hack at it every chance they get, as well as at FB users who are consistently pilloried by this site as narcissists. And yet, FB is unrivaled in my experience for sharing pics of little Suzy who painted the drapes, can you believe it, in the same place as a passable actual newsfeed and messaging hub. I’m glad iOS makes it easy to share on FB. Don’t like it? Don’t opt in.

    1. its great that little Suzy can start out early sharing her pictures, experiences, likes, dislikes, friends, and relatives, to world, friends, strangers and mega advertisers!. She will be able to thanks her parents for the most excellent personal advertising and profiling by her friends at Facebook and google and it didn’t even cost a dime!

  2. You know what would be better than Facebook? If the Apple News app allowed you and me to publish (which it might), making it easy for all of us to become our own publishers. This is basically what Facebook brings to the table. Along with a bunch of ads. Then, if we were to add our friends to our news feed, we’d have a platform that rivals Facebook.

    1. Oh great, another way to “publish” peoples opinions, comments, phobia’s, hate, propaganda.

      We have got to find a way to separate news subject to journalistic and editorial oversight from some simpletons musings.

      1. And I presume that you will be one of the elite who decides what should be published? Or are you actually one of the “simpletons” that you refer town your post?

        Officially at least, the job title of “Censor” does not exist, although they seem to be everywhere in the ‘self appointed” category.

        1. Obviously you didn’t comprehend my comment. I am not advocating censorship, merely stating that somehow we clearly identify those writings on the internet that were subjected to and published under accepted journalistic standards. Such as fact checking, proper research, corroboration of essential aspects with third parties, etc.
          I just don’t want to read opinions disguised as “news” or fact.

        2. Those standards do not exist in any forum. The New York Times and Chicago Tribune sit alongside the National Enquirer and Weekly World News at the bookstore. CNN, CBS News, MSNBC and Fox News all share the TV airwaves. Unfortunately, everyone has to figure out which sources approximate the truth and which fabricate fiction. It’s getting harder to differentiate: everyone is certain his opinion is the “correct” one.

        3. lovekamp, your cynicism is understandable, but there are publications that offer comprehensive investigation and analysis rooted in reality and based on facts. They tend to be scientific journals rather than the celebrity sleaze rags that people call news, however. Facebook and Twitter, much like these online forums, simply do not allow space for complete analysis and reporting. They are primarily advertising agencies, not edited journals. Maybe Apple will get its news app to be user-friendly enough to get content without the ads & user-tracking. I don’t see the attraction of telling the world what you’re read FB style. That’s bred a generation of people with 10-second attention spans who read only headlines and never read the fine print at the bottom.

        4. That is a form of censorship. Who determines the “facts”? “Truth” very often is decided by someone you like or agree with. Who defines “proper research”, so often it is someone who agrees with you.
          It’s nowhere nearly as simple as you make it.

      2. I, for one, would rather everyone have a platform to express their ideas rather than having some unnamed authority determine which points of view are “worthy” of being held up as a special category.

        You might have heard of this proposition before: it’s called “free speech.”

        1. Why can’t we have both? Apple should NOT chase Facebook and Twitter. Let the low-information chatterboxes gossip away.

          I like publications that are professionally researched, written, and edited. I want Apple to offer a platform that makes it easy to buy and manage electronic media. That is what Apple News is for — not for gossip, er, “social networking”.

  3. MDN is ridiculous, of course Apple can have a consumer business model that is BOTH privacy based and relevant. google Search and Facebook have worldwide acclaim, acceptance and appeal. Apple is smart to focus on privacy while integrating those things people want and use the most. MND is the stuck up snob in the corner that none of the other kids want to dance with.

    1. Worldwide acceptance and appeal by people who doesn’t even know what’s going on.

      MDN is right on mentionning that Apple is keeping it private while some third party apps on their platform aren’t. BTW Apple is gathering a lot of info through Siri, Maps and other but don’t share the info.

      Therefore, you are right but MDN doesn’t need to be bashed.

      Have you felt like the kid in the corner sometime?

  4. I think it has more to do with business than consumers. There is a big push to get Blackberry’s customers now that their all but gone. BB’s biggest advantage has been security and not having their non US customers spied on by the NSA. Apple, Google, and MS all have the NSA problem. MS made a big mistake by spending a billion on Nokia and not BB. Samsung was the only Android OEM that went after this market. Apple’s public fight with the NSA and partnering with IBM gives them the advantage to snag this large, ignored market.

  5. Regarding MDN’s take: ” It’s tough to reconcile Apple’s privacy push with Google as Safari’s default search engine…”‘; my comment is that if users are smart enough to care about their privacy, they are smart enough to change their default browser to DuckDuckGo.

    On a related note, I installed DuckDuckGo as my default browser on my Windows PC at work. When co-workers come into my office and see it on the screen, they ask: what the hell is that. After I tell them it is a search engine that doesn’t track you and your choices, they make a few jokes about my tin-foil-hat. But son-of-a-bitch if a few days later they don’t come back into my office and tell me they switched their home default search engines to DuckDuckGo.

    I think now that people are aware that they are being tracked by everyone from government to Google, they are starting to realize that privacy might be a little more important then they thought.

    Good for Apple for making privacy a selling point.

  6. It’s rare that I agree with MDN’s take. This is one such time.

    It really is hard to reconcile Google search as Safari’s default AND the fact that Google pays Apple billions to make it so (that was left out).

    So…to those righteous pitchfork carriers scraming “You are the product”, guess what, you’ve been sold out all along. I read somewhere though that Apple is dropping Google as default search. Could it be they want that for themselves?

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