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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

The Back Page: We Here at Apple Are Proud to Know Nothing About You

At Apple we take privacy very seriously. With recent revelations about Facebook and other technology companies, we’d like to take this opportunity to reassure our valued users and customers that not only does Apple not collect or store data related to your personal behavior and actions, but we also just don’t care.

Mining your data and compromising your privacy isn’t our business. We don’t know what clothes you buy, from what sites, or what search terms led you there. Nor do we know what medications you take, what you were talking about with your friends at your last game night, or where you’re thinking about going on vacation. More to the point: It simply couldn’t matter less to us. We’re a global, multibillion-dollar tech company and you’re, well, you. What could we possibly have in common?

There’s been much speculation that our lack of data mining has held us back in certain key areas, such as the virtual assistant market. We must disagree in the most strenuous terms: Siri’s aloof demeanor is not a limitation, but a product of careful design. It’s not important to us that Siri know your favorite ice cream flavor or that you secretly watch The Bachelor whenever it’s available on your DVR, because why would we want to know that about you? It doesn’t affect us in the least. We’re certainly not going to show up at your house with a bag of popcorn and a box of wine to trade surprised gasps about which Lauren is going to get eliminated this week.

Our competitors spend a lot of time building complex and sophisticated profiles of their users, figuring out what brands they like or don’t like, where they’re located, and who their friends are. But here at Apple we don’t see our users as a product to be bought and sold. There’s only one thing that we care about when it comes to our customers: whether they have enough money to afford our products.

Some may call this apathy, but we consider it the very height of respect for our users. And it’s a philosophy that goes beyond just our approach to privacy, but cuts across our entire product line: just look at our laptop keyboards.

Here at Apple, we’re committed to delivering products that surprise and delight our customers, but as we don’t pry, we can never truly know that our users have been appropriately surprised or delighted. So, as far as we are able to tell, they have been. Unequivocally.

It is of the utmost importance to us here at Apple that we continue to not know about you, our users, as much as possible. And to this end, we’d like to announce that today we’re instituting a new feature where we will actively prevent you from giving us any personally identifying information. We call this feature “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-I-CAN’T-HEAR-YOU” and you can easily see it in action by going to your local Apple Store and trying to get help from any of our many employees who are all too busy not helping other customers to not help you.

We think you’ll be pleased with the changes that we’re making, but we actually don’t care either way.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at dan@sixcolors.com. His latest novel, The Nova Incident, comes out in July and is available to pre-order now, so do it!]

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