At a time when many internet companies were exposed to privacy issues, Apple, through billboard advertisements posted in Las Vegas, United States, ahead of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, expressed how firm it was. Apple doesn’t mess with privacy. In 2016, Apple once refused an FBI request to create a “backdoor” on the iPhone.
Tim Cook, Commander of Apple, asserted that privacy “is one of the basic human rights”.
Cook, at a later time, after observing Facebook and Google that used their user data to grow, said: “a pile of user data that makes the hoarder rich.” Then he loudly stated: “The truth is, we can make a lot of money. if we want to monetize our users. If the users of our products are ‘goods’, we can make a lot of money. But, we don’t. “
Facebook and Google live from the user’s data. In 2018, by offering “personalized ads”, Facebook earned $ 23 billion from the United States digital advertising market. While Google, winning with as much as $ 42 billion.
In the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2019, privacy is not just a bluff. In the latest version of iOS, i.e. iOS 13, Apple limits third-party applications running on the iPhone to access location features. Facebook applications, for example. Prior to iOS 13, Facebook made use of the inter-time “nearby WIFI access points, beacons, and cell towers” feature to accurately determine the whereabouts of its users. Now, senior VP of software engineering Craig Federighi, said that Apple “closed the door” for these capabilities.
Facebook, in iOS 13, can only access the location feature once, not inter-time, and is under the control of the iPhone owner, not Mark Zuckerberg.
In addition to the more stringent rules regarding privacy, in WWDC 2019, Apple launched “Log In With Apple”. They are trying to compete with the “Log In With Facebook” and “Log In With Google” buttons that are commonly found on various internet services, from Spotify to Tinder.
Effort to Beat Facebook
“Log In With Facebook” and “Log In With Google,” along with “Log In With LinkedIn” or “Log In With GitHub” is a technology called single-sign-on, which centralizes various internet services to only be accessed by one single account. Facebook, as Wired wrote, is a “de-facto internet identity” for this technology, ahead of Google and other providers of single-sign-on facilities.
With only a Facebook account, for example. Users can access Spotify, Netflix, Grab, to Tinder. Users, in other languages, are avoided from the obligation to create different accounts, complete with their passwords, for various internet services used.
Unfortunately, single-sign-on is problematic. In the case of Facebook, for example. Research conducted by Steven Englehardt, Gunes Acar, and Arvind Narayanan from Princeton University confirms that there are security gaps contained in “Log In With Facebook.”
In a 2018 study of OnAudience, Augur, Lytics, ntvk1.ru, ProPS, Tealium, Forter, internet services that had Facebook’s application programming interface (API) access to “Log In With Facebook”, the three researchers revealed that the services were able to steal Facebook user data, such as name, e-mail, age, date of birth, and other information, without realizing it.
Even more astonishing, it’s not just OnAudience, Augur, Lytics, ntvk1.ru, ProPS, Tealium, Forter who are acting up. There are 434 of one million top internet service users who access Facebook’s cheats.
In addition, Farhad Manjoo, columnist for The New York Times, who outlined the opinions of Jason Polakis, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, mentioned that Google and Facebook actually provided “Log In With Facebook” and “Log In With Google” facilities. can be trusted. Google and Facebook have technicians as well as reliable programmers who can be trusted in protecting user data. However, in “Log In With Facebook” and “Log In With Google” there is a data exchange between Google / Facebook and internet service providers. And generally, internet service providers that utilize “Log In With Facebook” and “Log In With Google” do not have the power of Google and Facebook.
“Log In With Apple” was born as a privacy-first single-sign-on service. As reported by BuzzFeed News, “Log In With Apple” utilizes disposable e-mail or randomly generated e-mails, alias e-mails that disguise the user’s real e-mail address. Craig Federighi, asserted that this ability “eliminates all forms of tracking” carried out by internet services by utilizing the user’s email.
In addition, as Wired proclaimed, “Log In With Apple” also integrates itself with Apple-style authentication systems, namely using Face ID and Touch ID, which in addition to providing strong security as well as convenience.
With the promise of strong privacy, will “Log In With Apple” be a success?
The matter of personalization is not only played by Facebook and Google as the owner of “Log In With Facebook” and “Log In With Google”. Other internet services do. Spotify personalizes to be able to deliver Discover Weekly features. Netflix also did it in order to be able to present thumbnails of the films they offered to attract users. By disguising original e-mail, it is difficult for internet services to personalize. “Log In With Apple” is unlikely to be the main choice of application developers.
In addition, iOS is a closed operating system. Although an Apple ID can be created without an iOS-based device, in WWDC 2019, “Log In With Apple” will be present on iOS 13. This is a sign of exclusivity. In fact, the biggest share of the digital world today is Android, which is owned by Google.
Until the end of 2018, iOS gained 22 percent of the world smartphone market share. With 2.5 billion units of smart phones in 2018, that means there are only around 550 million iOS users. This is the “Log In With Apple” market.
Compare with Facebook and Google. At the same time, Facebook has 2.3 billion users, while Google (via Gmail) has 1.5 billion users.
Apple’s exclusivity and Tim Cook’s teasing about internet companies that should not make user data as a sale was replied by Sundar Pichai in the opinion column in The New York Times. He said, “Privacy cannot be a luxury item that is only offered to people who can afford to buy premium products and services.”