Apple has been promoting "privacy" for its users but a report shows that the company actually gives developers access to collect data. With that, data can be collected from the whopping one billion iPhone users.

According to the story by ComputerWorld, Apple has had quite a complicated relationship when it comes to privacy. The company has pointed out that protecting its users' privacy is its differentiator with Google.

However, in a recent move by the company, app developers will be allowed to collect tons of data from different Apple users. Despite the company's actual privacy policy, it lets users to block tracking or data sharing.

Apple Allowed App Developers to Collect Data

According to The Financial Times, the company has allowed app developers to collect data from its massive one billion iPhone users to be used for targeted advertising. 

The particular move happened in an unacknowledged shift that allows companies to follow what was noted as a "much looser interpretation" when it comes to the controversial privacy policy. Back in May 2021, the company communicated its brand new privacy changes to a much wider public which launched an advert that featured a certain harassed man who was monitored throughout his daily activities by an ever-growing "group of strangers".

In the advert, the man was then asked by his iPhone to "Ask App Not to Track," then he clicked, and the "group of strangers" suddenly all vanished. The message behind the ad was quite clear regarding data tracking and privacy.

Apple's message towards its potential customers suggest  if they do choose an iPhone, they are then choosing privacy. A few months later, certain companies like Snap and Facebook have been allowed to keep sharing certain user-level signals from iPhones.

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Snap and Facebook Allowed to Share Signals with Conditions

Snap and Facebook have been allowed to share the signals as long as the data remains anonymized and aggregated instead of directly tied to specific user profiles. The publication discusses the line "it's not private if it's anonymized/aggregated," which they explained further.

As per The Financial Times, it is essential to look at anonymization or aggregation in theory. To add, should it work perfectly, which they note doesn't do, which is the main point, there will be no users that can see ads that reflect a specific purchase they made or even a piece of content that they had just looked at, listened to or even watched.

Although data tracking does help improve search and browsing results, there have been a lot of eyebrows raised as to consumers not wanting their data being collected.

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Written by Urian B.

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