Apple to US Congress: “We are radically different” on privacy

Apple has responded to a letter from Congress asking it to detail its data security and privacy issues, saying that it is radically different from other tech firms.

The letter was sent a month ago, actually, there were two; one was sent by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to the Apple CEO, Tim Cook, the other to Alphabet CEO Larry Page. The letter itself detailed concerns that users’ whereabouts can be tracked by their smartphones, possibly against their will. It stated: “Considering that many consumers likely believe that a phone that lacks a SIM card, or one for which they have affirmatively disabled location services, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth – such as through turning on ‘Airplane Mode’ – is not actively tracking them, this alleged behavior is troubling.”

In a reply, Apple’s director of federal government affairs, Tim Powderly said: “We believe privacy is a fundamental human right and purposely design our products and services to minimise our collection of customer data.

“When we do collect data, we’re transparent about it and work to disassociate it from the user. We utilise on-device processing to minimise data collection by Apple.”

The letter also said that Apple does not use the microphone on iPhones to listen in to conversations.

Explaining, why Apple is “radically different,” the letter said: “The customer is not our product, and our business model does not depend on collecting vast amounts of personally identifiable information to enrich targeted profiles marketed to advertising.”

Google has not yet replied.

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