The privacy of the users in the services created by the Silicon Valley companies has always been a sensitive subject. In fact, the names of the top three technology companies (Google, Microsoft and Apple) were written in documents unveiled by Edward Snowden when he exposed the huge global surveillance system built by the NSA and its partners.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, is a strong supporter of privacy and security measures. It was not long ago that Tim Cook had to give proof of this. Earlier this year, Steve Jobs’s successor had to face the US government because of data on the iPhone from one of the San Bernardino terrorists.
Tim Cook believed that developing a backdoor that gave access to a specific iPhone could in the future be used against the millions of people around the world who use an iPhone. And so, Apple did not give in.
However, another controversy came this month that put Apple in the spotlight of the technology community. Online advertising companies, which use the Internet to populate the browsers of their ad users, are not liking a new feature in Safari on iOS 11 and MacOS High Sierra.
It’s called “Intelligence Tracking Prevention,” and it prevents advertisers from using Cookies to track people on the Internet so that the ads they show are more person-to-person.
In fact, these online advertising mechanisms can track people through all the sites they visit, thus recreating the steps that each one takes when browsing the Internet. With this new measure, advertising companies will not be able to locate users 24 hours after the last visit to the site.
This is great news for all people who feel exposed to advertising that appears on the sites they visit. However, online advertising companies are not that happy. In fact, there are many millions of millions in advertising that will not be earned due to Apple’s prevention measures.
Thus, these companies went to Apple through an open letter and where they questioned the company about the new functionality implemented in Safari.
This does not, however, prevent websites that people actually visit from using Cookies, as long as they do not later use their features to track people across all sites they visit. For this to happen, users should go to Settings to enable this option.
This measure implemented by Apple represents another step in the right direction for online privacy to be achieved. These measures are not always implemented and therefore, many times people feel exposed and watched. Let’s hope Apple always defends its users.