Apple Takes a Dig at Google’s Privacy Issues with a Strategically Placed Billboard

Apple is known to take potshots at Google and Facebook when it comes to privacy issues. Apple has been voicing against tech companies facing privacy issues. Even at the recent Stanford Commencement speech, Tim Cook asked tech companies to take responsibility and not dodge from the same.

Apple has now taken a dig at Google by placing a billboard that says “We’re in the business of staying out of yours. That’s iPhone” The billboard is placed next to Sidewalk Lab’s, a subsidiary of Alphabet. Sidewalk lab is working on reinventing urban planning. The Alphabet subsidiary has published a three-volume Master Innovation and Development Plan proposal that talks about developing Toronto’s eastern waterfront.

This is not the first time Apple has resorted to such measures. In CES 2019, the company placed a banner at the entrance that said: “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” Apparently, this was a dig aimed at Google and other companies.

Our Take

Before we criticize (or praise) Apple there is one thing we need to understand. Privacy is of paramount and it is good to see Apple trying to spark a privacy-related conversation. And there is a reason why Apple has placed the billboard next to SideWalks labs. The Alphabet owned subsidiary is working on turning Toronto into a smart city and in the process has been accused of privacy violations.

The city is being transformed into a connected network of sensors and camera. The worst part is that this data could be fed to the government and even private servers. Sidewalks is working on installing an array of sensors that measure stuff like traffic, air quality, noise, and building occupancy. However, the “measurable community” is seen as a threat by privacy advocates as there is no mechanism to stop the data from being shared with other countries or a private entity. Moreover, the company has refused to keep the data on local servers.

[via Mike Eliott]