Sunday, March 3, 2024

Apple slides from 2013 skewer Android as “an enormous monitoring machine”

Slide in Apple's typical font reading
Enlarge / It simply reads totally different in that typeface.

Division of Justice

“Right here is [sic] the newest slides we’ve got on privateness,” Senior Vice President of Providers Eddy Cue wrote to CEO Tim Cook dinner and then-SVP of Advertising and marketing Phil Schiller in January 2013. “Nonetheless much more work to do however good begin.”

These slides, newly made public as an exhibit within the Division of Justice’s ongoing antitrust trial in opposition to Google, on “The State of Privateness,” solid a dim mild on Apple’s opponents, notably Google. They quote former CEO Eric Schmidt’s infamous remarks on Google’s coverage to “get proper as much as the creepy line however not cross it.” They unfavorably evaluate Apple and Google’s approaches to account knowledge mixture, voice search privateness, maps, and search. And most notably, they offer over a whole slide to a abstract: “Android is an enormous monitoring machine.”

The exhibit is, as famous, redacted for public submitting and abridged, so slides not pertaining to Google’s search dominance and different points at trial are lacking. Nonetheless, Apple’s presentation affords a uncommon glimpse into the corporate’s notion of Google, notably Android, and the way its personal gadgets and providers would possibly stand aside.

Division of Justice

The slide begins with an abridged “Privateness Timeline,” with sure years minimize off accidentally or unusual redaction. The slide notes objects like Fb’s 2007 “Introduction of Beacon, which tracks customers even when they choose out,” and Microsoft’s launch of “IE8 with privateness settings off by default.” There is a curious and blunt, tiny-text notice beneath this slide: “Automated privateness to shoppers would make it more durable for Microsoft to revenue from promoting on-line adverts. Microsoft constructed its browser in order that customers should intentionally activate privateness settings each time they begin up the software program.” Web Explorer 8 was a fraught product for Microsoft, with inner debates about promoting privateness.

Division of Justice

On a slide for “Accounts,” Apple notes that its personal gadgets permit for separate accounts for iCloud, the App Retailer, and iTunes Retailer on a tool, and that Siri, its Maps app, and iAd promoting service “don’t use the Apple ID.” Google, by comparability, “Combines knowledge throughout providers,” with no help for separate accounts, and the “Solely affordable use case is full authentication.”

Apple makes comparable factors about “Siri and Voice Search” however takes a specific swing at Samsung’s Android telephones. As soon as Samsung’s since-discontinued S-Voice is used, “subsequent Voice Search knowledge is distributed to Vlingo (backend for S Voice) and can’t be disabled … Transcription, contacts, location, and so forth.”

Division of Justice

On a slide about Maps, Apple merely notes that “No adverts service in Maps,” and no affiliation between the app and your Apple ID or iAd. Advertisements are served in Maps, and “All Maps exercise is related to a Google account and is commingled with advert knowledge.” An analogous assemble is about up for “Search and adverts,” although surprisingly not in a lot element, given the trial from which these slides have been made public. “Searches are tied to Google Accounts,” and it is all combined with different providers, Apple notes.

The slides finish, a minimum of within the exhibit, with “Apple’s Method to Privateness,” which right here is just a 2010 quote from Steve Jobs about Apple taking privateness “extraordinarily significantly” and the way “individuals within the Valley assume we’re actually old school about this.”

As famous by Jason Kint of Digital Content material Subsequent, the identical batch of reveals made public by the DOJ reveals that Apple wasn’t totally averse to gleaning some perception into their clients’ search habits.

A Google inner electronic mail chain from 2016 summarizes a gathering with Apple, which Daniel Alegre summarizes as having “had a brand new request on the information set request part—they wished it to be reciprocal, that means that they wish to know which hyperlinks on outcomes have been clicked on, or how lengthy it took to fulfill the consumer’s question on Google. Their rationale is that they wished to enhance the consumer expertise with this info.”

Alegre, president of world and strategic partnerships on the time—who left Google to be Activision Blizzard President and COO, then later CEO of Bored Apes NFT supplier Yuga Labs—notes that his staff gave Apple “the clear heads up that we do not share this info as it’s key to our ‘secret sauce.'”

John Giannandrea, senior vice chairman for engineering at Google on the time and presently senior vice chairman of machine studying at AI technique at Apple, requested in response, “[W]hat are they making an attempt to study precisely? [T]hey know which queries they hand off to us, so what knowledge are they asking for? [If it’s] which net pages individuals in the end go to for a question we might *not* share that rating sign.”

Ars has reached out for remark to Apple and Google.

Itemizing picture by Division of Justice

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