Apple Brings on Sandy Parakilas for an Internal Product Privacy Position

Apple has made sure that privacy and user security is one of the major tentpoles for the company over the years, so some hires just make sense.

According to The Financial Times, Apple is starting 2019 pounding that privacy drum. The report states that Apple has officially brought on board Sandy Parakilas, formerly of Facebook, to serve in an internal product privacy position. If Parakilas’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he has been an outspoken policy critic of the social network for quite some time, after he monitored privacy and policy compliance at Facebook for over a year.

Parakilas left Facebook in 2012 and, ever since, he has been criticizing Facebook for its lackluster privacy policy. When he was working at Facebook, he reportedly told the company that their security protocols weren’t great, and that user privacy wasn’t being taken seriously in any meaningful way.

“Mr Parakilas has urged the tech industry to improve its data protection practices, increase the use of encrypted messaging and “verify the truth of statements that can be viewed by millions of people”.

“We now live in a world where racist demagogues and their dictator buddies can cynically exploit our tools to seize power,” he wrote in a blog post in late 2016. “There is no such thing as a ‘neutral platform’. Facebook, Twitter and Google all profited from this perversion of democracy.”

Parakilas will be serving as a product manager for the security team at Apple, according to the report. The goal will be to make sure that any new products coming down the pipeline will prioritize keeping customer data safe and their privacy protected.

Apple hasn’t officially announced anything yet, but they likely won’t. Either way, this sounds like a good hire on the company’s part, even if it stands to reason Apple has done a pretty good job keeping to its strategy in this regard for quite some time.

[via The FT]