Posted on June 14, 2018 by staff

Apple proves consumer trust is the new ‘data oil’


Apple’s new, tighter security measures on address show that consumer trust is at the heart of a successful digital business in a post-GDPR world.

That’s the view of Ian Woolley, chief revenue officer at data privacy and management company Ensighten.

“In the new GDPR world it’s critically important for brands to understand that consumer trust is the new currency. Trust is built by design, which now includes how data is collected and shared within brands’ underlying website or app technologies long before consent is granted.”

The remarks come after Apple quietly rolled out new restrictions for apps that vacuum up user’s iPhone address book.

Apple’s new rules state: “Do not use information from Contacts, Photos, or other APIs that access user data to build a contact database for your own use or for sale/distribution to third parties, and don’t collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing.”

Whilst many apps on Apple’s app store require legitimate access to a user’s contacts, some apps still unnecessarily harvest these details to sell or use for marketing.

“With Apple’s new rules prohibiting developers from accessing individuals’ information, especially as it prevents data from individuals’ contacts (who couldn’t give consent) being taken, we see a strong privacy orientation which should impress consumers,” said Woolley.

The spurious data-harvesting technique is at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scandal which has seen Facebook come under prolonged scrutiny.

“While almost all online businesses collect data, only a handful of brands process data at Apple’s scale – and their new pledge demonstrates their commitment towards maintaining consumer privacy.

In response to the data harvesting taking place, Apple has quietly added measures which will punish apps guilty of ‘data-harvesting’

“Apple is taking the new GDPR data provisions for customer privacy very seriously and publicly, with action.

“With address book requests coming from all kinds of apps like Instagram or Snapchat, last night Apple took a stance against the vacuuming of such data with a new set of rules for developers which restrict those apps sucking up the address books of iPhone users.