Data privacy is undoubtedly an important issue of the times. With the proliferation of mobile devices, website tracking, location enabling, and the pervasiveness of social media, one can be pretty sure that one way or another we are being tracked on our devices.
Apple states “Privacy is a fundamental human right. At Apple, it’s also one of our core values.” Hmm… Even with that statement, it makes one wonder just what is happening with our activities and data. Who know what about us? What do they do with this information?
Enter powerful new advertisements from Apple that illustrates how we are being tracked. The videos show how crowded it gets when companies are tracking our movements and purchases. Great ads.
Apple’s new advertisements, “Tracked,” highlight how its app tracking transparency tool lets users opt out of letting apps track interactions. The company also has the support of privacy watchdog groups such as Privacy International. Users should get to choose for themselves which companies they will share information with about their actions.
The new tool is part of iOS 14.5. It’s simple to choose. When an app wants to follow our activities to share information with third parties, a window shows up on our device to ask for permission. If the answer is “No” the sharing stops. Good for consumers. Not so good for companies (such as Facebook and Google) that rely on tracking to see what we are shopping for in order to target its ads.
Privacy. Simple, powerful, and needed.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the topic of privacy and data tracking with students.
- What is their opinion? What is their level of concern?
- Show Apple’s website statements about privacy: https://www.apple.com/privacy/
- Show advertisements: https://youtu.be/8w4qPUSG17Y
- Another ad: https://youtu.be/rEWeA7qDV4k
- Divide students into teams. Have teams research competing phone manufacturers to see what those privacy policies state.
Source: Advertising Age; Apple; New York Times; other news sources