According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll conducted November 4-22, 2021, Americans trust Google and Amazon more than Apple to handle their personal data.
Heather Kelly and Emily Guskin for The Washington Post:
Most Americans say they are skeptical that several Internet giants will responsibly handle their personal information and data about their online activity. And an overwhelming majority say they think tech companies don’t provide people with enough control over how their activities are tracked and used. The survey was conducted in November among a random sample of 1,122 adults nationwide.
According to the survey, 72 percent of Internet users trust Facebook “not much” or “not at all” to responsibly handle their personal information and data on their Internet activity. About 6 in 10 distrust TikTok and Instagram, while slight majorities distrust WhatsApp and YouTube. Google, Apple and Microsoft receive mixed marks for trust, while Amazon is slightly positive with 53 percent trusting the company at least “a good amount.” (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
Technovanguard Take: Prior to this August, we’d chalk this up to the usual: People being too busy in their daily lives to learn much about which companies are better about protecting personal data and safeguarding privacy, but after Apple’s ill-considered, perhaps-coerced, and still-not-canceled scheme to install backdoors into their products — ostensibly for child sexual abuse material (CSAM), but which could easily be bastardized to look for virtually anything — perhaps Americans are paying attention.
Google et al. only scan images for CSAM on their servers, after upload. Apple, unconscionably, proposes searching through data before it leaves your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and notifying authorities if it’s ever synced with iCloud!
Instead of adding CSAM scanning to iCloud Photos in the cloud that they own and operate, Apple is compromising the phone that you and I own and operate, without any of us having a say in the matter. Yes, you can turn off iCloud Photos to disable Apple’s scanning, but that is a policy decision; the capability to reach into a user’s phone now exists, and there is nothing an iPhone user can do to get rid of it. — Ben Thompson, Stratechery, August 9, 2021
If anything, given Apple’s inexplicable proposal to destroy privacy, by ingraining surveillance into every device that’s impossible to avoid, Apple’s untrustworthiness number should be higher and its trust level lower.
If Apple management has any sense whatsoever, is not hopelessly compromised, and can resist whatever pressure forced them into this ill-considered abject disloyalty to customers who value their privacy and security, the company will end this disastrous scheme promptly and double-down on privacy by finally and immediately enabling end-to-end encryption of iCloud backups as a company which claims to be a champion of privacy would have done many years ago.
Note to Apple’s misguided and/or compromised management: No, we’re not stopping. Do the right thing. Scan iCloud photos if by law you must. We can live with that. If you can’t do the right thing because you’re either too obtuse or too compromised, resign for the good of the company.
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