iPhone and iPad developer Apple is trying to educate their public about ways they can protect their personal information from being shared with third parties, with the unveiling of a new ad released today.
The ad – which can be viewed below – shows a young girl named Ellie exploring an old record store, when she suddenly comes across a wooden door with a sign on it. The sign reads “Ellie’s Data Auction” and is an omen of things to come.
As Ellie opens the door, she finds herself in a room full of people dressed as if they are going to a gala, all sitting in chairs while a man on a podium sells some items to the highest bidder. However, these items are not just random, but they are all related to Ellie. More specifically, it is her personal information that is being sold.
Now that she’s had enough, the young girl pulls out her iPhone and with two quick changes to her settings, all the people attending this auction turn to gold dust.
It’s these new settings that allowed the protagonist of the new campaign to free herself from her pesky invaders that Apple hopes to shed some light on.
More specifically, regarding the acquisition of personal data, a company representative emphasized that these auctions, while not so extravagant, actually take place between companies: “Over the past decade, a large and opaque industry has kept increasing amounts of personal data. complex ecosystem of websites, apps, social media companies, data brokers and ad technology companies track users online and offline and collect their personal data. This data is aggregated, shared, aggregated and used in real-time auctions, fueling a $227 billion-a-year industry. happens every day, as people go about their daily lives, often without their knowledge or consent.”
Apple representatives highlighted certain key points of the ad that reveal how a number of updates and settings will help users protect their personal information.
More specifically, at point 0:24 of the ad, the auctioneer reveals Ellie’s personal emails, including one she recently received and viewed. To prevent Apple user information, such as when and how often they viewed an email, from getting into the hands of others, they can simply turn on their Mail Privacy Protection, like the main character does at the end of the short video.
Thirty-three seconds after the ad’s starting point, the auctioneer attempts to sell Ellie’s private transaction history of “drugstore purchases.” According to the company, Apple Pay doesn’t track their users’ transactions, so neither they nor anyone else can access that data.
“Apple does not store or have access to the original credit, debit, or prepaid card numbers you use with Apple Pay. And when you use Apple Pay with credit, debit, or prepaid cards, Apple doesn’t store any transaction data that could be linked to you — your transactions remain between you, the merchant or developer, and your bank or card issuer,” the company’s representative revealed.
Location services are another hot topic among Apple users, as seen at 0:44 of the video where the auctioneer is selling Ellie’s history. However, Apple users are now being asked if they want to share their location with an app before that information becomes available to them. They also have the choice to reveal their location all the time or only while using the respective app.
Ellie’s “contacts” and “browsing history” are the next two items sold during the fictitious auction. But now users have a choice of which applications to share their contacts with, and thanks to Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention system, trackers can’t track their movements online.
Finally, Ellie’s late-night messaging habits are up for sale. But according to the company itself, that’s not an option for potential buyers right now: “With watchOS, iOS, and iPadOS, your messages are encrypted on your device, so they can’t be accessed without your passcode. iMessage and FaceTime are designed in such a way that there is no way Apple or anyone else can read your messages when they are in transit between devices.”
Ellie then turns on the App Tracking Transparency and her Mail Privacy Protection, two features that, based on Apple itself, will help tremendously in preventing the sharing of personal information: “With iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5, apps must ask for consent before tracking your activity on other companies’ apps and websites. Tracking occurs when information that identifies you or your device, collected through an app, is linked to information that identifies you or your device, collected on apps, websites, and other locations owned by third parties for the purposes of targeted advertising or ad measurement, or where the information collected is shared with data brokers.”
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