I applaud Apple’s actions to shut down Facebook’s enterprise certificate, which was being abused in direct violation of Apple’s requirements. Maybe Google is next.
It is my view that Facebook and Google are best avoided. Their very business depends on knowing as much as they can about you and pushing the limits of using that information. MPG has long advised staying off Facebook, and that advice applies to Google also. The original “don’t be evil” motto of Google seems rather quaint at this poin... and targeting kids as young as 13 is outrageous given the addictive nature of phones. Speaking as a parent, I loathe smartphones.
Information is a toxic asset these days, what with security and privacy breaches popping up like mushrooms. In the future, the best-run companies will strictly limit the information they keep about their users*.
So kudos to Tim Cook and his stated privacy and security policies and generally how Apple operates, in spite of the numerous recent security screwups. Of course, Apple’s business is in selling product, whereas Facebook and Google are all about selling another product—your profile.
* I’m not enjoying the constant hacker emails I’m getting to my now-compromised Amazon email. As a 20-year customer, all I got from Amazon was a lame email apology and no better than that when I called to complain. In the future there should be a painful financial liability for such breaches, let’s say $1000 per breach—that would wake up companies big time. As well as the corporate death penalty for certain types of severe breaches, such as SSN and similar.
Is Apple serious about privacy and security?
Readers might infer from many posts that I think Apple is not serious about user security and privacy. That would be half right—Apple is not serious about security and privacy as so long as Apple Core Rot persists—it’s abundantly clear that software is rushed out the door on a calendar schedule so that users can find the bugs. As demonstrated by numerous severe/critical security issues in the past few years, the most recent one being the outrageous Facetime bug
The word I hear is that engineers at Apple don’t even write unit tests in some areas (a best practices part of software development), being too rushed by constant high-pressure deadlines. What fool of an engineer wants to be downrated because s/he did not meet the deadline? This, from the world’s most successful company.
The flip side is the stated desire to maintain industry leading standards of security and privacy as per Tim Cook’s leadership. This is policy and attitude, and I applaud it. But it’s all posturing unless Apple follows through with fixing the lack of judgment on software releases (a management issue).
As an aside, a few years ago I predicted that Apple was on the verge of a inflection point towards a decline, a train with huge inertia. I reiterate that view now in 2019. In my view this all stems from a single root cause: failure to respect user needs as a whole, including issues damaging professional workflow—no longer do I feel good about Apple or any sense of loyalty, as Apple has damaged my workflow again and again, when not busy damaging my data. Apple has succeeded so far by building a wildly addictive product, but competition is becoming intense in critical markets like China.