A privacy battle that Apple isn't fighting

There are no browser-level privacy settings that California implements in Safari, iOS.

For at least a decade, privacy advocates have yearned for legally enforceable "no-follow" regulation. Now, at least in the most populous United States, that dream has become a reality. So why isn't Apple — the company that increasingly uses privacy as a selling point — to help its customers use it?

When California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in 2018, she became a big star. In theory, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) gives Californians the right to tell websites not to sell their personal information. In practice, exercising this right means clicking on a number of privacy policies and cookie notices, one at a time, on each website you visit. Only a masochist or a strict privacy enthusiast can click the cookie settings every time they browse the menu or buy a vacuum cleaner. Privacy, for most people, is a right that only exists on paper until there is a simple way to refuse online tracking. A privacy battle that Apple isn't fighting for The good news is that this ideal is close to reality . While the California Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA) does not explicitly mention a universal disapproval, the interpretive provisions of the California Attorney General's Act of 2020 state that companies must respect one, as they do with individual applications. Universal cloud technology didn't exist yet, but last fall a coalition of companies, nonprofits, and publishers revealed a global privacy control specification that could send the "no-follow" signal that supports the CCPA. at the browser or device level.

Today, if you live in California, you can control global privacy on anything by using a privacy browser like Brave or downloading a privacy extension like DuckDuckGo or Privacy Badger Enable. The browser you're already using (seriously, do this. The full list of options is here.) After you do that, it will automatically tell the sites you visit, "The information doesn't sell to me personally" without having to click anything - and unlike previous attempts to create a global opt out, Any appropriately sized company doing business in California is legally obligated to do so, which requires adding a few lines of code that goes to their website.


The status of CCPA implementation remains unclear as some companies object to the attorney general's interpretation of the law on a large scale. But the California government has made it clear that it intends to meet global privacy requirements. (The recently enacted California Privacy Act, which takes effect in 2023, makes this requirement more explicit.)

In mid-July, DJ reported that Attorney General Rob Ponta “requested at least 10 people And maybe more than 20 letters from the company to respect the GPC.” Respect the sign.

Now, the bad news. While installing a privacy plugin or browser is much easier than clicking through a million privacy pages, the vast majority of people are unlikely to do so. (It remains to be seen if DuckDuckGo wallpapers on US highways and cities with billboards will inspire a new wave of privacy knowledge.)

This is important because collective online privacy rights are not individual. The problem with blanket tracking isn't that you can let someone access your personal location information and use it to destroy your life, as was recently the case with the Catholic priest whose Grindr business data became a model. He appeared in gay bars. Even if you avoid being tracked in person, you are still living in a world under surveillance. Tracking-based advertising helps reduce high-quality posts by eliminating the premiums that advertisers pay to reach their audience. It's cheaper to find these readers on social media or even on extreme nutrition sites with low nutrition. This drive increases uninterrupted interaction on social media. None of this will go away until a large number of people refuse mass tracking.

This is why the absence is so evident in the list of companies that support global privacy. Apple's reputation for privacy was introduced earlier this year with the introduction of App Tracking Transparency, a setting that forces the default on iOS devices to force apps to obtain user permission before sharing their data. This really is a huge step towards privacy, because the difference between not choosing by default and choosing is huge — and in fact, early reports show that most iPhone users refuse to let apps track them, they refuse to.


But Apple, despite its (highly publicized) commitment to privacy, has introduced universal privacy control in Safari, the most popular mobile browser in the United States and the second most popular desktop browser. . It's also not installed on iOS, which accounts for more than half of the US mobile operating system market. This means that it does not protect tens of millions of users from selling and sharing their information as much as possible. The transparency framework for app tracking is important, but it depends on Apple's violation of app developers violating this rule. Meanwhile, Safari's anti-tracking feature relies on a technical approach to block cookies and other trackers that can often be bypassed. “This is basically an arms race,” said Ashkan Soltani, a privacy researcher who helped develop Global Privacy Watch. Technical tools are not enough. You must have the force of law behind you. “This is where global privacy control is fundamentally different from current tracking prevention. If a business ignores it, it not only violates terms of service or evades certain codes, but it also breaks the law. Fines or fines are heavy.

< p> However, none of the major browsers include this feature and prevents it from being widely accepted.Android hasn't added, not surprisingly: the world's largest curated advertising company isn't specifically known for its specifics.(Google declined to comment.) A Mozilla spokesperson said The company is "considering control. Privacy is global and is actively exploring next steps in Firefox."

In the past, Apple has used software design and App Store policies to protect users and access the void it has created at the heart of current sweeping privacy law in California and the United States. Others following it — Colorado, for example, require companies to respect global privacy control by 2024 — the law is ultimately technology. Until the private sector steps in, people will not see the full benefits. Although a secretive company like Apple isn't interested in this, expectations could be higher than you think.

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A privacy battle that Apple isn't fighting
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