Thursday, September 18, 2014 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Thoughts on Privacy

Tim Cook:

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

John Gruber:

That Tim Cook and Steve Jobs are very different people has been a common refrain for three years, and it came up again this week in his interview with Charlie Rose. But one trait they share is the ability to write in simple, straightforward words. I say clear writing is a sign of clear thinking.

Apple:

Below you’ll find information about powerful features that help you make your devices and data secure, along with tips for avoiding phishing scams and keeping your account safe.

Apple:

Government information requests are a consequence of doing business in the digital age. We believe in being as transparent as the law allows about what information is requested from us. In addition, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a “back door” in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed any government access to our servers. And we never will.

In the Charlie Rose interview, Cook said they would have to carry him out in a box before he let that happen. Of course, it is entirely possible that it could happen without his knowledge or consent. The systems are designed such that Apple could tap into your messages if it wanted to. There is unfortunately no way to prove that this doesn’t happen.

I also note that Apple has updated its iOS Security whitepaper.

Update (2014-09-18): Jeff John Roberts (via David Heinemeier Hansson):

Now, Apple’s warrant canary has disappeared. A review of the company’s last two Transparency Reports, covering the second half of 2013 and the first six months of 2014, shows that the “canary” language is no longer there.

Update (2014-09-19): Cyrus Farivar:

While Apple won’t confirm it, the company has removed its warrant canary from its latest transparency report, issued this week. While this could mean that the company has received a new secret government order to provide user data, there is still another more likely possibility: it’s not publishing warrant canaries at all.

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