The Hare & The Crow

Je vous écris d'un pays lointain, je vous écris du bout du monde.

“So unlike other companies’ messaging services, Apple doesn’t scan your communications, and we wouldn’t be able to comply with a wiretap order even if we wanted to.”

Apple - Privacy Built In

To which Ryan added:

This whole page feels like both a band-aid attempt on the recent celebrity photo leaks, a bolstering push for the new iCloud drive thing, and an arch attack on quote unquote other companies. The copy for that last aspect of it feels very Downtown-Abbey-esque.

”Unlike some companies…”

arches eyebrows suggestively, sips tea archly, re-arranges bustle


It might seem like that, but Apple has been emphasizing privacy and security for a long time, especially as a way to differentiate itself from Android. One of the side effects of this is that iOS has effectively no malware, while malware in the Android world is extremely common. (And no, Android fans, you can’t claim “That’s only if you side-load apps!” when you also knock iOS because you can’t side-load apps in iOS.)

Since the beginning, iOS has been built around not being able for one app to access another app’s information, for both security and privacy reasons. (That’s one reason that it’s taken until version 8 for them to do inter-app communication.)

When Apple has found developers doing things they shouldn’t have been doing, they’ve updated their OS to make it impossible to do that, or to require explicit user permission. They’ve made tons of changes — on iOS and OS X — designed to make things more secure, even when it meant that developers would have to go back and do more work.

You can fault Apple for a lot of things, but being concerned with keeping their OS and your information safe isn’t really one of them.

When it comes to some feature that may have privacy implications, such as location services, Apple requires explicit user approval before that feature is enabled.

Compare this with many (most?) Android apps that ask for a whole range of permissions, even those which often aren’t clear why the app needs it.

The same techniques which are believed to have been used to illegally access private pictures in iCloud (not technical flaws, but password resets using “Security Questions” such as “What is your mother’s maiden name?” which are far too easy to find out when people post them on social media) could be used to access passwords from almost any service.

People rightly complained that iCloud’s two-factor authorization didn’t go far enough, and Apple changed the way two-factor authentication works to make it more secure.

Apple published a “warrant canary” in last year’s transparency report, saying that they received no secret Patriot Act “section 215” requests, which come with gag orders prohibiting companies from discussing them. This year’s report omit that line, which makes it as clear as they are legally able to that they have received such requests since then.

Starting with the iPhone 5S, Apple added Touch ID, which actually works, meaning that people can get an extremely high level of security in their phones which was previously only available if you used a complex passcode, which nearly no one did.

“Unlike some companies” which offered a feature which claimed to be able to “unlock by your face” and people when asked “Will holding up a picture of your face in front of the camera work?” and they said “Of course not! Give us some credit!”

Except that when it came out, holding up a picture of your face did work. Oops.

Oh, and when Samsung came out with the S5 (yes, you’re right, that does_ sound really close to Apple’s “5s” I wonder why that is?)_ they tried to add a fingerprint sensor, and it was so bad that early reviewers said they couldn’t imagine anyone actually using it.

(By the way, remember that next time you see a list of features suggesting that two operating systems are the same because they both offer “the same features.” After all, my Treo had email and a web browser, and so did the original iPhone, but the experience of using them was completely different.)

From Apple’s Government Information Requests page:

On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode. Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.

They’ve literally made it impossible for them to be able to access your private information on your iOS device if it is running iOS 8, much to the chagrin of law enforcement.

Apple makes money by selling you hardware. Facebook and Google make money by making it possible to send you targeted ads.

Which would you rather trust with your information?

You can easily fault Apple for being “behind” when it comes to certain features (or for making their phones absurdly large, seemingly in response to market Android made for them), but the emphasis on privacy and security is not new to Apple.

That said, if someone prefers Android, use it! I literally have no dog in this metaphorical race. There are aspects of Android that I like better than iOS, and there are parts of iOS that I really hate (not being able to buy books in the Kindle and Comixology apps, for example).

(via tj)

"Band aid" was quite vague - I didn’t intend to imply that Apple don’t take privacy seriously - I’m sure they do - just that this page seemed prompted by the recent privacy leak and that the tone was funny. It’s kinda funny when big companies get all snippy, like a grumpy dowager.
And also I guess that Downton Abbey is a great show.

(via everythinginthesky)