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Craig Federighi talks Apple’s privacy efforts and App Tracking Transparency in new keynote speech

Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, served as a keynote speaker during the European Data Protection & Privacy Conference today. During his keynote address, Federighi reemphasized Apple’s commitment to privacy across its hardware and software platforms.

One of the topics Federighi focused on during the speech was data minimization, which he described as one of the “four key principles” Apple lives by. Specifically, Federighi pointed out that other companies take the opposite approach:

Now, others take the opposite approach. They gather, sell, and hoard as much of your personal information as they can. The result is a data-industrial complex, where shadowy actors work to infiltrate the most intimate parts of your life and exploit whatever they can find—whether to sell you something, to radicalize your views, or worse.

That’s unacceptable. And the solution has to start with not collecting the data in the first place.

The other three principles, according to Federighi:

Second, to avoid the risks of moving data off device, Apple processes as much of your data on your device as possible. Data that stays on your own device is data that you control.

Third, when data is collected by Apple, we make that transparent, and we help you control how it’s used.

And fourth, we see security as the foundation for all of our privacy protections. If your data isn’t secure, it’s not going to stay private. And our unique model of integrated hardware and software is key to enabling these strong protections.

Federighi also used his keynote address as an opportunity to talk more in-depth about Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature:

Its aim is to empower our users to decide when or if they want to allow an app to track them in a way that could be shared across other companies’ apps or websites. To do that, early next year, we’ll begin requiring all apps that want to do that to obtain their users’ explicit permission, and developers who fail to meet that standard can have their apps taken down from the App Store.

He concluded:

I hope that we will be remembered not just for the devices we developed, and what they enabled people to do; but also for helping humanity enjoy the benefits of this great technology… without requiring that they give up their privacy to do it.

It’s in our power today to end that false tradeoff… to build, for the long term, not just a foundation of technology, but a foundation of trust.

The full keynote address from Federighi is well worth a watch and can be seen below. Skip ahead to the 49-minute mark to see Federighi’s speech in its entirety.

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