MarketingSecurity & PrivacyWeb Development

Apple made an announcement on June 5th that will change the economics of the internet. They plan to improve the Safari experience by adjusting ad tracking. Ad tracking is in-market research that monitors a brand’s performance including brand and advertising awareness, product trial and usage, and attitudes about the brand versus their competition.

Companies can follow you around the Internet in order to get further insight to better their advertising campaigns. This is how we are marketed to on the Internet.

Most consumers do not appreciate the attempts to be marketed to while on the internet. These online advertisements feel threatening when they take over your whole screen, and are annoying when they start playing sound when you haven’t allowed them to.

Not only are these inconveniences, but since these advertisements can follow you around and track what you do on the internet, it is a security breach to many consumers and Apple never wants their customers to be in a position where they feel uncomfortable.

So Apple created a new feature,

“Intelligent Tracking Prevention [ITP] is a new WebKit feature that reduces cross-site tracking by further limiting cookies and other website data, Intelligent Tracking Prevention collects statistics on resource loads as well as user interactions such as taps, clicks, and text entries. The statistics are put into buckets per top privately-controlled domain or TLD+1.”- Apple’s John Wilander.

In plain English: ad-tracking can only follow you around for 24 hours and Safari will delete all of a site’s tracking cookies if you do not visit the site for 30 days. This means that their ability to track you is fundamentally limited, and will improve your privacy and experience online.

Will Safari’s numbers rise with the promise of less advertising traffic? To a browser like Google’s Chrome, less advertisements would not be quite as beneficial as it will be for Apple — Apple’s business model doesn’t revolve around advertising sales. Thus, Apple is not intimidated by a lack of advertisements. They would prefer happy, safe customers and they may have found another way to give them more security and a better experience.

Now, this announcement did not make everyone happy; 6 major trade groups expressed concern with these plans. With this in place, it restricts the tracking abilities of websites and advertisers which could cut into their bottom line. What is good for the consumer privacy, would not be good for them. They explained this in an open letter to Apple.

“Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful.” — The Data and Marketing Association and the Network Advertising Initiative.

Advertisers will not be able to use target marketing to select their audiences and it will be more difficult for them to know how well or poorly their strategy is operating. These associations wanted to make their concerns very clear to Apple and the rest of the Internet.

For many small businesses that use these marketing tools, they will find themselves needing to adjust strategy. This means that some of Panda Rose’s clients might be affected as well. We agree with Apple that ensuring consumer privacy should be top priority, and will help our clients to work with these new restrictions.

Tess Houcher 

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Security & PrivacyShoppingTechnology

It has been ten years since the first iPhone was released. Apple’s iPhone has changed not only the way that we communicate, but the way we think and live our everyday lives. In 2007 we were introduced to the touch screen, where we were no longer pushing buttons, instead we were touching software. The phone was reinvented. In the year 2017 the iPhone updated again. But is this high tech getting cool or creepy . . .

On September 12th, broadcasting from the Steve Jobs Theater in California, excited Apple employees, journalists and notable individuals filled the room. The crowd was welcomed with the soundtrack of Apple’s past advertisements as they waited for the presentation to begin. Tim Cook walked onto the stage after the voice of Steve Jobs spoke in the dark theater and gave a short and meaningful speech on the importance of individuals being true to themselves. He explained that being true to one’s self is the very practice that makes Apple, Apple.

Tim proceeded to announce Apple’s latest upgrades for a few of their existing products throughout the event. These upgrades include an updated Apple Watch, Apple TV 4K, the iPhone 8, wireless charging by Qi and the Apple stores. I had the privilege to watch the Apple presentation in its entirety this year, so I am going to give a brief description of a few of these upgrades, which I find quite fascinating.

The Apple Watch presented by Jeff Williams:

It was confirmed that the Apple Watch is now the number one watch in the world and I assume it will continue to be the best there is with the new Series 3 update.

Among other additions, the biggest enhancement of the watch is that it now comes with cellular. Older versions of the watch would need wifi to text or receive a phone call so people would always need their phones wherever they went. Now you can leave your phone at home while you do errands or go for a run and you will still be connected to the rest of your busy world.

The Apple Watch amazingly, is still the same size as the Series 2 watch even with the cellular upgrade. Other new features of the watch include more detail in the heart rate information, a skiing app and brand new wristbands. All of these upgrades give the Apple Watch Series 3 the potential to be life altering to its users.

Wireless Charging presented by Phil Schiller:

Apple was very excited to announce their new innovative form of technology from Qi which charges your latest iPhone products without them needing to be plugged in. This upgrade handles a few problems which have been experienced with the original way of charging your iPhone.

The action of plugging and unplugging your phone is a simple task but more often then we would like to admit (or maybe it’s just me…) we forget that our phone is plugged in and attempt to walk away only to be unpleasantly surprised by our phones flying out of our hands back to the source of their charging. Apple kindly takes this simple annoyance and fixes it for those of us who could be labeled as forgetful or clumsy. (Thank you Apple.) Another problem fixed by wireless charging is that now you can’t get anything stuck in your iPhone.

Phil explained that Apple has also taken into consideration that businesses such as food chains, airports and vehicles could eventually have these charging units implanted into easy access places for their customers. With no fear of the charging units being stolen from public places, as they would be embedded into the architecture. The simplicity that comes with the wireless charging unit from Qi is an exciting beginning for a world without wires.

The iPhone X Presented by Phil Schiller:

Phil also introduced the reinvention of the iPhone- 2017 edition, the iPhone X. The biggest news about the latest iPhone is how the device is unlocked. To unlock your iPhone X, you don’t even need to touch the screen. This is done by the iPhone recognizing your face.

They have called this Face ID. A map of your face is created when you first set up your phone using sensors, cameras, and an invisible dot projector. These features make up the TrueDepth camera system. And while individuals often change their appearances by dying or trimming their hair, wearing a hat or glasses, or growing a beard; like magic, the iPhone will adjust to you as you change.

This does not mean it is simple for someone who is not you to unlock your phone. Apple worked with professional mask makers in Hollywood to ensure that the system would know the difference between the fake and real you.

This all sounds almost creepy… a device that knows your face like another person would? Could Apple see me if they wanted to? Apple addressed this before a conspiracy could even take off. Just like Touch ID, the information gathered by Face ID is stored strictly on your iPhone. Apple will not get a map of your face when you personalize the device and then create a clone of you for their life-like robot army… at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Final Thoughts:

Although it is intriguing to poke at the idea that Apple has the ability to see all their customers through the front facing cameras of each device, Apple has repeatedly been very reliable when it comes to security. Unlike their competitors who often have issues with keeping their customers protected from bugs and hackers.

Panda Rose has always recommended Apple to their clients. With Apple’s ability to maintain security consistently, it’s hard not to trust the well-loved company with our customers. They have kept their reputation clean and I am certain they will strive to ensure that continues.

Tess Houcher

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