I must admit that I was resigned to the notion that there was simply no way any of us could keep our personal information private. But perhaps I was a little hasty. It seems that Apple was working very hard on this and kept it under wraps until iOS 8 was actually launched.
The first sign of this was when Apple announced Apple Pay with the iPhone 6. In simple terms, they are simply not gathering any transaction details. They are simply enabling secure payment. This means they have no knowledge of what we buy.
Then there was this interview with Tim Cook outlining Apple’s approach to security and privacy.
And yesterday, we had this message from Tim Cook, this statement on privacy and this detailed pdf on iOS security. I read this to mean they see competitive advantage in this and that Google and others will not follow them, because their (e.g. Google, Amazon, etc.) business models rely on exploiting our personal information, whereas Apple’s does not.
And I suggest the way to protect your information on an iPhone is to change from using a 4-digit PIN to a more complex password (you can do this on an iPhone since iOS 7, but not an iPad) and then use the fingerprint ID (for iPhone 5S or 6) to gain access to your iPhone. There are communications access issues this does not address, but it’s a big step forward. I tried it on an iPhone 5 and it’s just too much of a hassle typing in a long password every time you want to use your phone. The fingerprint ID makes it workable.
And if you’re an Apple follower, you may like to hear Tim Cook talk about Steve Job’s legacy at Apple.