Apple’s new ad shows what happens when you use a phone that’s not secure

Apple wants you to know that it is taking privacy very seriously and they have released a video ad to highlight the dangers of using a device that’s not secure. Apart from excessive tracking for targeted advertising, there are applications that capture more information in the background without your knowledge.

The ad implies that a phone that doesn’t take privacy seriously is prone to over sharing. In an exaggerated example as show in the video, it is like telling strangers everything including your search history, health information, location, personal conversations and passwords. In a nutshell, Apple wants to remind you that it is doing a lot more in keeping your private information safe especially with its upcoming iOS 14.

When the new operating system was released as a public beta, several applications were exposed for privacy breaches. This includes secretly using the device’s camera, microphone and copying data from the clipboard.

On iOS 14, there’s now a colour indicator which will let you know if your camera and microphone is in use. If an app tries to copy something from the clipboard, a pop-up notification will appear as well. To step up privacy, iOS 14 will also allow users to reduce the accuracy of their location data and provide better control on what data is accessible for each app.

Because of these stringent privacy controls, Facebook is expected to get a hit in advertising revenue as it would be tougher to run targeted ads to its users. Companies such as Facebook and Google will need to request for user’s permission to opt-in and obviously, most people would be hesitant to allow tracking.

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Apart from Apple, Samsung is also running an awareness campaign that appears to be taking a jab at Huawei when it comes to privacy and safety. They have been posting on social media emphasising that its Galaxy phones come with an awesome Android experience with Google Play pre-installed. There’s also another social post that highlights the risk of side-loading.

In case you didn’t know, new Huawei smartphones and tablets are still running on Android but they use Huawei Mobile Services. Due to the current restrictions from the US government, the Chinese smartphone maker is unable to ship new phones with Google Mobile Services pre-installed. The only way to discover and install apps is via Huawei AppGallery which they are working hard to get as many developers on board as possible.

Unfortunately, several popular apps are not available and the only workaround is by sideloading which isn’t recommended due to security and privacy concerns. Google has warned that it is unsafe to sideload Google apps on Huawei devices that are not shipped with Play Store.

Alexander Wong