Apple has released a new advertisement to highlight its commitment to privacy on iPhones. The ad basically highlights its ‘App Tracking Transparency’ feature that rolled out in April last year after much protest from Facebook parent Meta and ‘Mail Privacy Protection’. Both features aim (or rather claim) to reduce sharing of data like email, location, and advertisingIdentifier with miscellaneous apps. Meta, the parent company of most-used apps like Facebook and Instagram, heavily relies on user data to feed personalised ads. Interestingly, Google has also released a new video to highlight its security features on the Android operating system.
The Apple ad titled, Privacy on iPhone – Data Auction, begins with a female user discovering her ‘private data’ is being auctioned at an auction venue, a euphemism for a smartphone in this case. We can see data such as location, contact, and email ID are being auctioned to multiple buyers, a parallel for multiple apps on your device. The auctioneer amusingly justifies this data selling process as not “creepy” but as “commerce”.
Apple released a white paper last year where it pointed out that the average mobile app has six embedded. The company noted, “Trackers are often embedded in third-party code that helps developers build their apps. By including trackers, developers also allow third parties to collect and link data you have shared with them across different apps and with other data that has been collected about you.”
Through App Tracking Transparency, Apple mandates that apps must take the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Under Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track so they can make changes as they see fit. This is also highlighted in Apple’s latest advertisement. Among the affected players, Meta had said earlier this year that the company expects a $10 billion ad revenue hit due to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency.
Another feature that got highlighted in the ad is the Mail Privacy Protection that rolled out with iOS 15, iPad OS, and macOS Monterey. It essentially claims to hide your email ID while signing up on third-party apps.
Meanwhile, has unveiled the Protected by Android branding for security and privacy on Android. In a video, the company says its Android OS is evolving to help users protect location data and more.