Earlier this year Apple has launched iOS 14 while declaring this update “represent the latest innovations in Apple’s legacy of privacy leadership”. Some argue that this is a mere marketing strategy and privacy isn’t a top priority for Apple while others believe Apple is a top leader when it comes to privacy in tech.
Apple’s Privacy – a Trend or a Marketing Strategy?
When releasing iOS 14 Apple has launched several features to enhance its users’ privacy. New features will be launched soon with iOS 15. It is a surprising approach since it is well-known that data is the new oil, so how come Apple giving it up? Some argue that this isn’t a mere marketing strategy, that apple allocates a lot of resources to offer new privacy features.
Some of Apple’s privacy features are:
- Mail apps: Apple’s Privacy Protection helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.
- In-app permission to track: as you mat noticed (and this one is hard to ignore), all of your apps as asking you if it’s OK they’ll track you. Now you have an option to choose “Ask app not to track”.
- Intelligent Tracking Prevention: Do you know that feeling when you see a t-shirt and decide not to buy it but it keeps haunting you wherever you go? This feature will end this. Intelligent Tracking Prevention uses the latest in machine learning and on-device intelligence to fight this cross-site tracking.
- Password Monitoring: Safari will let you know if your saved Keychain passwords have been compromised in data breaches. You will receive a notification with a recommendation to change those passwords.
- Approximate location: you can choose whether apps can see your approximate location or the exact location.
- Privacy information on the App Store: developers are required to self‑report how they are using your data –– such as usage data, contact information, or location –– and whether that data is used to track you. You can view this information directly from the App Store.
- Much more privacy features listed on the Apple website
Does Apple Really Care?
Ever since apple became the face of privacy, many began to wonder – does Apple really care about their users’ privacy or is this marketing strategy? Could it be both? with billboards stating “Privacy is king” next to an iPhone image and new privacy features being included in every update, it is still unclear.
It could be just a marketing strategy. We are all aware of the Privacy Paradox- Most (96%) people across generations, and more than 93% of Millennials, say they care about privacy. However, we would love a free service or Chrom extension right? Who wouldn’t? We say we are about privacy but we rarely check the tiny prints. For that reason, some people believe that Apple chooses privacy as a marketing strategy, this way more people, who care or think they care about their privacy, will feel more confident in buying an Apple product instead of other brands.
Privacy As a Marketing Strategy
Apple has chosen to invest money and resources in developing new features which focus on privacy. This strategy is similar to the principled of ethical marketing – giving value to their users in order to attract or retain them. Whether Apple really cares about their users’ privacy or not, the new features in fact offer them more control over their personal data.
Privacy is the best chance for small companies to challenge big corporates which struggle on keeping huge databases secure and controlling employees’ access to the personal data of customers and users. Protecting personal data is a much easier process for smaller companies with fewer employees and small-medium databases. People became untrustful of brands and companies that ask for their personal data, they hesitate before handing over such information. If you can prove you can protect their personal data and that your company cares about privacy – you can use it as both a business and marketing advantage and grow your business.
This is a great strategy. Privacy is the feature – more and more people care about their privacy and are willing to pay extra in order to get a “safer” product. According to a recent survey, 61% of individuals under the age of 45 care about their privacy and they are active about their online privacy.
If you have decided you use privacy as a strategy, keep in mind that all departments should work with privacy in mind, especially HR and marketing. Those department usually involves working with the most amount of personal data. The best way to use privacy as a marketing advantage is to be transparent – show your customers how, why, and when you are collecting personal data for them and how are you planning to protect such data.
- Respondents that indicated that they care about privacy and their data.
- Don't care about their privacy and data.
- Individuals who are active about their privacy are under the age of 45
Privacy As a Double-Edged Sword
Don’t declare yourself as a safe data processor or controller if you can’t handle it. Just as you can win customers’ and users’ trust – you can lose them for good. All it takes is a small data breach to harm your reputation. It’s not going to be easy to recover from this.
An Interactions Marketing survey found that 85% of shoppers who had personal information stolen as a result of a security breach tell others about their experience, while 33% percent complain about their experience on social media.
If you collect personal data, you are required by law to protect your customer’s or users’ personal data. Instead of looking at it as a mere legal obligation, get inspiration from a giant tech like Apple and use it as an ethical marketing strategy. Go above and beyond in protecting your customers’ privacy and gain their trust and loyalty, along with many more customers that care about their privacy.