Most iPhone users can agree that they would appreciate a better iOS system that is adaptable to their needs, but it is common knowledge that no individual wishes for their daily activities to be tracked or monitored on their iPhone. Given this newfound problem, Apple aims to avoid monitoring its users with new implementation of differential privacy, a technology used by other companies such as Microsoft and Uber.
Differential privacy can best be explained as a “method of collecting and analyzing large volumes of data from individuals, but processing it in a way that ensures that nothing can be tied back to any one individual.” In comparison to Google, differential privacy can’t be used to deliver “fully-personalized services,” but it can be used to provide a safe, well-rounded service to customers. Apple began using differential privacy since the launch of iOS 10, and users are able to implement its use by allowing Apple to gather Diagnostic and Usage Data. After permission is given for Apple to gather this data, users allow Apple to use differential privacy to make improvements to that data.
Although Google is attempting to implement this new differential privacy technology, they have been criticized for not thoroughly explaining its process to the general public. Professionals also questioned the safety of the process, as a cryptography professor from Johns Hopkins questioned the safety of their technology. He asserts there is an “inevitable trade-off between the accuracy of the data you collect and the privacy of individuals.” Essentially, he argues that if you value the safety of your privacy above all else, you will not be able to gather data as efficiently because you are sacrificing accuracy for privacy.
Apple is revolutionizing the potential productivity of cellular devices, but they are also valuing its users’ privacy to ensure everyone is safe. With the newly accustomed differential privacy technology, Apple may please more of its customers and create a safer product.
Mohammad Sultani for TechFunnel.com