At WWDC 2019, Apple just introduced a set of anti-tracking measures, as a testament to its commitment towards data privacy. This includes:
A “tracking-free” signing in option for apps and services
An ability to “hide” your email address through a single-use random address system
This is pretty cool: Apple will allow users to "Sign in with Apple" instead of Facebook, Google or Twitter. No data gets shared and it'll let you sign up with a anonymized throwaway email address. https://t.co/Aaf4SAFrxm
Apple’s latest offer includes a Sign in with Apple option for apps and services that will provide a fast and easy sign-in process using Face ID, without tracking your personal data, unlike other fast-track log in options that Facebook and Google offer.
What’s more is that if you don’t want to give your email addresses to protect your privacy, Apple will auto-generate a relay address that will hide your real email address.
In a time, when personal data is the price to pay for using products such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms that track user data in more ways than one for targeted ads, Apple’s initiatives provide a radical departure by giving its users the option to opt-out of these platforms’ tracking measures.
Of course, Apple’s venture towards data privacy isn’t anything new. Having enabled cookie-blocking to its main web browser – Safari – back in 2017, Apple has long used data privacy as a key selling point in their products. This is the premium that many tech-savvy Apple’s users have been paying for.
But its commitment towards user privacy reflects a desire on Apple’s part to capitalize on this issue that’s become increasingly important in the last few years.
It’s a move that could benefit Apple in the long run, considering the increasing worry towards data privacy. After all, as users become more aware of how their personal data might be being distributed in more ways than they can imagine, the more they are preferring privacy-oriented tools over others.
For starters, here is the Google Trends for data privacy in the last 5 years.
I do think that this shift towards data privacy is bound to stay and become even more important in the next few years. Increasing public concern is one thing. Public policy and law are another.
As governments go digital and public officials gain more insight as to how online data can be used and manipulated, data privacy laws are bound to be set and prevent data exploitation.