Privacy organizations praise Apple’s leadership:
Gus Hosein, Privacy International: “PI’s investigations into data brokers and ad tech companies reveal a complex, fast-growing industry that is opaque to the average user. Where there is a lack of transparency, exploitation thrives. Invisible and gratuitous data collection leaves users unable to exercise their rights and protect their privacy. Apple’s nutrition labels require industry to be clear and upfront with consumers, and tools like App Tracking Transparency will help people to assert control over the invisible leakage of their data. With these commendable innovations, industry will finally feel pressure to change. Consumer awareness and technical solutions are important parts of the solution, but in order to prevent a cat-and-mouse game between industry actors, we need substantive, enforceable regulation to stop this exploitation of our data.”
Jeff Chester, Center for Digital Democracy: “Apple’s new data privacy tools ensure that people have greater control over their personal information. Data brokers and online advertisers will now have to act more responsibly when dealing with consumers who use third party applications on Apple devices.”
Michelle Richardson, Center for Democracy and Technology: “Too often, consumers are unknowing participants in a web of data tracking and targeting. These changes will help rebalance the ecosystem so that data collection and sharing is more transparent and tracking is no longer the default. Systemic change of this breadth is a huge leap forward for consumers.”
Tristan Harris, Center for Humane Technology: “Today’s Apple announcement moves the ecosystem further away from the malicious effects of secretive profiling and microtargeting that enable many of the problems outlined in The Social Dilemma.”
Awareness of industry practices like data tracking is only the first step toward a better privacy experience. Users also need the features and controls to decide how their data is used, and by whom. Apple has led the industry by building privacy protections into every one of its products and services.
For years, Apple has introduced dozens of technologies that safeguard user privacy and help keep users’ data safe. For example, Safari was the first browser to block third-party cookies by default as far back as 2005. In iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Safari added Intelligent Tracking Prevention to further limit tracking while still enabling websites to function normally. In 2018, Apple introduced protections to prevent companies from fingerprinting Mac — a practice in which third parties try to identify users devices based on data like fonts and plug-ins.