29 June 2021

The New York Times: “Shoshana Zuboff explains Why You Should Care about Privacy”

In what ways does Apple uphold or contradict its stated motto that “privacy is a fundamental human right”?

I had a data scientist who said to me the other day, Look, the underlying norm of all software and apps designed now is data collection. For all intents and purposes, all of them are designed to engage in surveillance.

Apple still makes the majority of its revenues through its sales of iPhones and other devices. Nevertheless, an increasing portion of its revenue comes from services, and a big chunk of services is selling apps. So even if it’s not a surveillance capitalist, it is a powerful enabler. A powerful accessory to this crime of surveillance capitalism.

And, of course, there are other ways in which Apple and Mr. Cook really violate the principles that he so eloquently states. Apple in China is obviously a huge example of that. Apple’s relationship with Google. So Apple is deeply compromised.

The question in my mind is now under the spotlight that Mr. Cook has chosen to shine on himself and this corporation: Are they going to move to truly fill the shoes of what it would take to be a privacy god, or are they going to continue to sort of fudge this along and play both sides?

Lauren Jackson

Wonderful way to present the conflict between Apple’s stated principles and their less than principled actions. As I wrote before, I agree with the statement below as well, and with most of this interview.

Apple’s products are expensive. Is there a premium on privacy that only some can afford?

Android, of course, is by far the dominant smartphone in most countries. We see people who can’t afford privacy. And the idea of privacy as a luxury is a profoundly intolerable idea.

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