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Apple has slammed the privacy-invading habits of firms such as Facebook and Google with a bold new advert.

One of Apple’s headline iPhone features is App Tracking Transparency, the anti-tracking tool that has hit Facebook’s revenues hard, costing the social network an estimated $12 billion.

The latest Apple privacy advert focuses on all the iPhone maker’s privacy features. The advert is set at an auction: “The next sale is a digital treasure trove—charming Ellie’s private data,” the auctioneer announces as “Ellie” enters the room.

Slot number one is her emails, and number two is her drug store purchases.

The auctioneer tries to sell off Ellie’s location data, her contacts —“even sweet Nana”—and recent transactions. That’s not all—her browsing history and late night texting habits are also up for sale.


But suddenly, Apple’s ad shows everyone at the auction starting to disappear. The reason—Ellie’s using Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection’s “Protect Mail Activity,” which helps stop marketers from collecting data such as the time and place you opened an email.

Apple’s privacy-focused marketing strategy

The iPhone maker has long been a champion of privacy—it can afford to use the area in its marketing since its revenue model is more focused on services than advertising.

The new Apple ad is helping to raise awareness of the tracking and data collection that happens to people every day. Apple’s Day in the Life of Your Data whitepaper describes how the industry is harvesting increasing amounts of personal information.

“A complex ecosystem of websites, apps, social media companies, data brokers, and ad tech firms track users online and offline, harvesting their personal data.

“This data is pieced together, shared, aggregated, and used in real-time auctions, fueling a $227 billion-a-year industry. This occurs every day, as people go about their daily lives, often without their knowledge or permission.”

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature helps to stop this by mandating that firms such as Facebook ask explicit permission to track you across apps and websites. Other iPhone privacy controls include location services privacy controls, Safari’s intelligent tracking prevention, the Mail Privacy Protection that Ellie uses in the Apple ad and the App Privacy Report launched in iOS 15.2.

The new Apple ad helps highlight all of these features, as well as taking a thinly veiled swipe at the iPhone maker’s rivals Facebook and Google. What’s not to like?


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