A man shouts in a bus full of people that he is browsing eight pages for divorce lawyers. A woman smoothly tells the login information to strangers in a movie theater. A couple of employees have an unflattering conversation loudly about a nearby colleague (including verbal descriptions of “puke emoji”), and a woman uses a megaphone to broadcast credit card information to anyone within earshot.
Some of them are embarrassing, some are potential privacy breaches, but they are among the examples in Apple’s new Over Sharing ad, which underscores the company’s focus –
It does not mention any of its technical rivals who have made headlines for breaches, major hacks and otherwise dubious privacy practices, but it is clear who Apple is blinking at.
And this is far from the first time Apple has loudly proclaimed itself to be a privacy leader. Its “What Happens on Your iPhone Remains on Your iPhone” board greeted visitors to CES in 2019, and its ad “Privacy Means Something” (“If privacy means something in your life, it should matter to the phone your life is on”). , “) followed a few months after an unfortunate FaceTime error that allowed people to listen to iPhone video calls
At last year’s keynote, CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives slammed the idea that all Apple services – credit card, news service, etc., were “designed to keep personal information private and secure.” And, of course, Apple denied the FBI’s request to help unlock an iPhone to a suspect in a San Bernardino shooting in 2016, “because we thought it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent.”
But it has not been without its own share of security issues; In addition to the FaceTime bug, Apple was forced to apologize in August for secretly listening to human entrepreneurs’ recordings of iPhone’s digital assistant Siri.
Yet the Over Sharing ad reminds us how much of our digital lives and information can be made public, or at least easily accessible to scary actors, if we – and the technology we trust – are not careful about what we share and how.