Democrat Congressman David Cicilline Jumps on the Issue of Privacy and Portrays Apple as one of the Bad Actors
Apple's CEO told ABC News reporter Rebecca Jarvis last week that while he wasn't a fan of government regulation, he thought that the government needs to regulate this area of privacy. It didn't take time for Democrat Rep. David N. Cicilline (R.I.) to jump on the issue but somehow twisted the issue to make Apple out to be on the wrong side of Privacy.
Yesterday the Congressman stated that "There is a growing risk that without strong privacy legislation in the United States, platforms will use their role as de facto private regulators by placing a thumb on the scale in their favor."
In Cook's interview with ABC News, the emphasis was on tech companies that use common sign-in practices, like Google and Facebook, who allow advertisers track users activities over the course of days, weeks and so forth.
Somehow the Congressman turned the table to make Apple out to be one of the bad actors on the issue of privacy.
The concern of Cicilline was prompted by the changes that Apple made to location services in iOS 13. Essentially, Apple has restricted the access of third-party applications to a user's location and provided more information to users about when an app would take their place. Lawmakers are now concerned that Apple itself has access to additional location data that is not available to competitors.
The Washington Post further noted that "House lawmakers have met with a number of Apple partners to discuss their concerns, according to people who know about the meetings. These people said that one of the topics discussed was Apple's habit of making changes to the rules that apply to the App Store ecosystem in the name of privacy, while simultaneously binding the hands of competitors."
In a statement, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said the company works with developers affected by the new location services policy:
"We have created the App Store with two goals in mind: that it is a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. We constantly work with developers and provide feedback on how we can help protect user privacy, while also providing the tools developers need to create the best app experiences."
Most of the Post's report focuses on Apple's percieved hypocricy on the privacy and how Apple tracks users on an ongoing basis and makes users jump through hoops trying to turn off Apple's tacking.
But the article does briefly point out privacy issues with Facebook and Google. "According to newly leaked documents, Facebook internally debated a decision in 2012 to cut some competitors off from collecting valuable user data. It decided to tell the public that it was making the change to protect user privacy, referring to the strategy as a “switcheroo.” And Google has cited privacy as a reason for revoking the ability of outside software developers to interact with its Gmail service, drawing criticism from developers." There's a lot more to found in the full Washington Post report.
Magically Amazon, the owner of the Washington Post, is never portrayed as having problems with privacy. They even twisted history by pointing fingers at Apple's Siri listening in on customer conversations with HomePod yet failed to point out that the issue was first brought on with Alexa on Echo devices. How convenient is that? There's more on Amazon and privacy here.