“Apple needs to change its attitude and approach to customer data, back away from the big data corner it has painted itself into, and use its upcoming World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) to lay out some sort of artificial intelligence vision,” Larry Dignan writes for ZDNet. “Amazon has Alexa and its Echo. Google has Home, Assistant and a bevy of other services. Microsoft has Cortana. Meanwhile, Apple has its long-in-the-tooth Siri that reportedly will be opened up to third party developers.”
“Over the last two years, Apple has dug its heels in on privacy, vilified ad models to some degree and knocked Silicon Valley rivals (read Facebook and Google) for using customers as the products and collecting too much information,” Dignan writes. “In many ways, Apple in the Tim Cook era has been about privacy concerns and keeping customer data local.”
“As a customer, I commend Apple’s approach. As an Apple customer, I also realize that Apple may need to find some balance with its data practices if it’s going to compete in a market where artificial intelligence and big data enabled assistants are everywhere,” Dignan writes. “What should Apple do? Cook needs to walk the line between the company’s mantra on privacy and data and showing off some real AI toys for developers. Siri does need a brain transplant. Apple doesn’t have to be perfect, but needs to show it can hang with the Alexas, Facebook bots and Google Assistants of the world.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Simply let users decide, upfront, how much privacy they’ll cede in return for more functionality.
We take privacy extremely seriously. As an example we worry a lot about locations in phones. We worry that some 14 year old is gonna get stalked or something terrible is going to happen because of our phone…Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for. In plain English. And repeatedly. That’s what it means. I’m an optimist. I believe people are smart, I think some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. — Steve Jobs