In January 2010, Steve Jobs revealed to the world the iPad, the device Apple believed to be the answer to fill the gap between the smartphone and a laptop. Having converted to using an iPhone two years earlier in 2008, I was definitely in that camp; the need for real screen estate portable touch device that allows me to perform the majority of basic tasks I used a laptop and desktop computer for at the time, such as; web browsing, email, reading and media consumption etc. Nothing trivial.
In a statement to TechCrunch:
“We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy. While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally. Additionally, as part of a future software update, users will have the ability to choose to participate in grading.”
Despite the delayed response to the criticisms of potential privacy concerns surrounding the use of contractors to analyse and grade Siri search query data – a concern made more prominent by The Guardian’s reporting of the situation – am glad to see Apple take action nonetheless.
Albeit, only a suspension of the program worldwide and not a total cancellation, probably due to needing time to assess better operable options in how to continually process such data without the need of contracted human helpers.
It is great to see Apple take ownership of its responsibilities and holding themselves accountable.
“Often masqueraded under the thin veil of ‘anonymous data collection to improve your experience’, every tech company is susceptible to using data in ways users might not be fully aware of, we are, after all, in a digital age of ubiquitous data harvesting. Whether users tolerate the unethical amassing of data to be sold off without consent is a decision a user should regularly review.”– Excerpt from a post on Privacy published on Chambyte on 22 July 2019.
A week or so after publishing a post about Apples Privacy Stance in which I stated the reason why I trust the tech giant in defending our right to privacy, UK publication The Guardian published an article about how Apple contractors ‘regularly hear confidential details’ on Siri recordings.
Acquiring majority of Intels Smartphone modem business is a massive step towards the goal of owning and controlling the primary technologies that are core to the operation of its product lineup that utilises modems, even more so for future products.
During the 2009 Earnings call to investors, Tim Cook reiterates Apples long term goal of being the sole proprietor of primary technologies that are the heart and soul of its products:
Tim Cook is a logistics guy, and it should come with no surprise that he is leading the charge in Apple being completely independent in owning and controlling the primary technologies in its products. In the grand scheme of things, financially, it is not a huge burden for Apple to enter licensing agreements with independent companies, like the recent six-year license and multi-year chipset supply agreement with Qualcomm.
“I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.”Tim Cook
The above quote is an excerpt from a letter by Tim Cook published on Apple’s website back in 2014, detailing Apples commitment to user privacy.
It is with this stance that the initial attraction I have for Apple products based solely on my love of their hardware elevated by the respect shown in protecting my privacy with the use of the accompanying software.
The Apple ecosystem can be a beautiful convenience, and many users love the seamless integration of software and hardware across the platform. What has become even greater importance in many peoples use of Apple products and services is the undying protection of our privacy as a Fundamental Human Right that Apple vehemently defends.
Ask a lot of Apple services and product users why they have invested their time and energy in Apple beyond the beautiful hardware and stellar OS’s and top responses will more than likely be one of two reasons or both – ecosystem and privacy. The latter has garnered quite a lot of attention in recent years with privacy advocates relentlessly calling out companies that potentially misuse customer data with a fraction or non-existent transparency.
Often masqueraded under the thin veil of ‘anonymous data collection to improve your experience’, every tech company is susceptible to using data in ways users might not be fully aware of, we are, after all, in a digital age of ubiquitous data harvesting. Whether users tolerate the unethical amassing of data to be sold off without consent is a decision a user should regularly review.
I started Chambyte back in 2012/13 intending to document my experiences using Apple tech since I spend a great deal of time geeking out on Twitter about Apple in general. Due to time constraints and other commitments blogging fizzled out of my daily routine and in late 2014 updates ceased and eventually I closed the site. The desire to blog never left and I can’t let lack of time be a reason not to, any more.
I’ve come to the realisation that I don’t have to commit to a stern posting strategy, but rather take time to collect my thoughts and deliver an articulate write-up expressing my experiences and understanding – this may also be in the form of commentary posts – which I’m hoping will generate a healthy educative discussion around subjects regarding Apple and its technologies. I’m open to learning and gaining different perspectives on any particular topic regarding Apple, so please do get in touch with your commentary. The better the understanding, the better the respect we place on the technology in our hands.
I recently rebuilt my ecosystem of Apple devices. I switched over from a few third-party services permanently to Apple services, and that ignited the desire to start Chambyte again to document my experiences but with a different approach; to post as and when I can rather than adhering to an expected unrealistic schedule. Granted, I have no academic, technological background, so what you’ll read here will be based on pure, raw experiences from an average end-user consumer, and I hope you follow along.
Welcome, to Chambyte 2.0.