Apple will not have a booth at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, but they still managed to instil their presence at the conference with a giant billboard trolling their competitors.
All throughout 2018, it felt like a major security incident made headlines every week, so it’s no surprise privacy will be one of the hottest topics at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Since the mammoth Cambridge Analytica scandal broke out in March 2018, a series of investigations have exposed how reckless and unscrupulous tech giants like Facebook and Google have been when dealing with the personal information of their users.
In August, an investigation from Associated Press found Google keeps saving your location history on mobile devices even after you explicitly tell it not to. And in December, the New York Times revealed how several popular mobile apps collect our daily whereabouts and sell that information to the highest bidder.
In a cheeky move designed to throw some shade over their main competitors, Apple has put up a giant billboard on the side of the SpringHill Suite hotel near the Vegas strip, strategically located nearby the convention centre where CES is taking place.
The sign is a clever spin on the common adage, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” and reads like an opportunistic attempt from the Cupertino giant to name itself the torchbearer of ethical privacy policies and practices in today’s market.
Apple never shows up at CES, so I can’t say I saw this coming. pic.twitter.com/8jjiBSEu7z
— Chris Velazco (@chrisvelazco) January 4, 2019
It’s curious that Apple couldn’t resist the opportunity to leave its footprint on CES 2019, despite historically avoiding having a presence at the event. But exactly how much truth is in the message, “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone”?
For long, the company has repeated like a mantra that one of their main concerns is to protect the private information of their users. Three years ago, they sent a strong message when they refused to unlock an iPhone the FBI suspected belonged to one of the individuals involved in the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.
And while it can be said that Apple has upped the ante on privacy in its latest software and hardware offerings – and arguably outperforms its competitors in that regard – the company hasn’t been free from its own scandals. We all remember “The Fappening” in 2014, don’t we?
Apple devices do not exist in a vacuum, either. Once you download a third-party app on your iOS device, you’re exposed to the potential privacy flaws that lie beyond the reach of Apple’s own data encryption.