Is Apple The New Face of Hypocrisy?

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Apple's Backdoor!

Join us as Adam Jones and Alyssa Mullins explore the topic of Apple’s privacy changes, what it has meant historically, and with the future of marketing.

Apple with their iPhones and IOS devices are making it a bit more difficult for marketing professionals to track them – yet Apple it seems intends to track everything. Our belief is that they will sell data on a larger scale to a select ecosystem, but past that, it really is Apple doing what is in Apple’s best interest.


Adam Jones 0:00
My name is Adam Jones, I own Pullman Marketing. And this is Alyssa, our brand strategist, and welcome to your weekly social.

We’re doing our best as marketers and as an agency to provide opportunities to learn to grow to see what’s happening to industry. There’s a lot going on- this week there’s two big things that we’re going to talk about today, the first one being, kind of some after effects, the ramifications of Facebook’s privacy stuff against Facebook. But then also, Apple coming out and saying, we’re gonna scan all the things, and full admittance at a back door. Usually, I’m like all for Apple and their privacy. Even back when there was, and I don’t know if you remember it, but there is a case in California in San Bernardino where the FBI was asking Apple to unlock a phone.

Alyssa Mullins 0:58
Oh, yeah, that sounds familiar. I remember that!

Adam Jones 1:00
Yeah. I remember like, it’s kind of not a big deal. It really isn’t. Because Apple can do it. They said, even if we could, we’re not necessarily going to. Because then that creates precedent for the FBI to make as many requests as possible into any case filings and it creates an undue burden on the company, there’s all kinds of stuff. Back then it’s like, Alright, privacy! Go Apple! And as marketers, like, we use Facebook for a lot of stuff. And now that we can’t use data analytics from our Facebook advertising for Apple mobile users, that hurts us actively. Do you actually like opt out of stuff on your Apple device?

Alyssa Mullins 1:00
Yeah. So whenever I enter an app or anything, it’ll usually say, it’ll give me an option to allow or not allow the app to track everything that I do. For, like, smaller apps that I know I’m not really on, I just say no, don’t track. But it’s interesting, because I don’t actually know fully what that means for everything. Because apps are gonna do some tracking no matter what. So is it just like, “No, they can’t track everything you do?” Or is there like, bigger things that it won’t track, but all the little miscellaneous, small things, it’ll still track a little bit? Or are things just hidden? You know, especially with Facebook, because Facebook with ads, and everything like that. But for the social medias I usually let it track because I work here, and I know that we kind of need to track that stuff. And so for Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok, I allow the tracking.

We all work in social media, but we don’t all see the exact same thing. So that’s where I, you know, I get educated in some of these parts. Are you okay that Apple is essentially saying, “Facebook, you’re not allowed to have this data. But we Apple, in the long run are probably going to be selling that data anyways.”

Am I okay with it? I don’t really know how I feel. But at the same time, just kind of growing up, I always knew that anything you put out on the internet is going to be there. And so with that knowledge, I’m just like, Okay, well, I mean, someone’s gonna have it somewhere, whether it’s Apple, whether it’s Facebook, or you know, some other even third party, which scares me to think about, so I just go in with that knowledge of, “Someone’s going to have it. Someone’s going to track what I do, whether or not it’s from the app itself, or even like Apple.” And so, I’m not too shocked. I just expect it to happen.

Adam Jones 3:48
Right? I think most of us are, to a certain extent we understand that the moment we say, “I agree,” and accept these conditions, they’re probably taking data. But you know, what do I have to hide? And see, that’s where it gets interesting with Apple coming back and say, “We’re going to begin scanning all of your iCloud stuff.” And then in some cases, scanning your device. Granted, for the use case that they’re using, I am not trying to defend anything that’s immoral or improper. What I would argue is, Google and Microsoft are already partnered in doing these types of scans, like they actually have awesome technology that automatically does this. They also have partnerships. So then why does Apple need to do additional searches into a user’s device?

Alyssa Mullins 4:46
In my mind, it’s how well just all these different companies do and don’t mesh with each other. That’s kind of how I see it.

Adam Jones 4:55
And one of the primary things, especially for the iCloud part right, is if people are uploading illegal content into their iCloud, it could be said that Apple could be liable. Which I mean, that makes sense to me, like you do have to be careful. Even as a web host provider we have to be careful with who we allow into our systems. And that makes sense. But then to regulate what an individual does with their device… That’s where that gets a little bit creepy and weird to me. Because at that point, do you even own it?

Alyssa Mullins 5:38
That’s a good point. I always run into the issue of backing up my phone and everything like that, because, I have an Apple, and so normally, things would go into the iCloud. But one, we didn’t pay for that. My dad’s an Android user, so with all of my stuff being under him, he uses Microsoft and we use Google Photos, for example, to backup all of our photos and things like that. And so he just set me up with an account since I have a Gmail and we did it that way. And so all of my photos, which for me are some of the more important things on my phone; those are what get filtered in and backed up, for sure. And that doesn’t go to iCloud. Like, I don’t really have anything in an iCloud unless I’m changing out my device when I may or may not have dropped my phone, and then needed to get a new one. And so I went through the process of uploading all the data and everything onto iCloud, just so I could make that transfer between phones. And then I deleted all of it, and went on with my day and back to how I normally did things.

Adam Jones 6:50
So really, most users don’t even have to touch iCloud for the most part.

Alyssa Mullins 6:54
Not if you don’t want to.

Adam Jones 6:58
So then how do you feel about Apple having that backdoor?

Alyssa Mullins 7:01
To know how much power and how much access everyone that works with Apple can have, that’s for me is a little like, “Oh, okay.” But at the same time, I have nothing to hide, and I’m also just kind of like, I half expect it to happen. And that’s just something that’s been engraved in my brain to just always be aware of.

Adam Jones 7:26
The bigger question as that kind of relates is, do you feel like there’s been any bait and switch in advertising? Because there there was a big issue with Snapchat years ago, where they’re like, “Oh, yeah, your photos are deleted!” I think we all kind of knew that your photos weren’t deleted. But there were still users and still backlash of like, “Oh, no, this is this is operational, this is there.” And there was even filed abuses of people… There’s backdoors for Snapchat, if you didn’t know, for police to be able to make access requests, and to be able to find photos or things that may be related to a criminal case. And so there was a couple lawsuits because employees were actively abusing that, and going in and looking at users profiles and pictures that were deleted. But of course, were never. And so there there were lawsuits based on that- do you feel that there’s any backlash or any brand damage by Apple taking this?

Alyssa Mullins 8:32
I think there could be, I think that leaves potential for that. In a lot of ways, especially, and advertising on Snapchat is different. But even on Facebook, with all the privacy settings changing everywhere, it does get harder to advertise for a brand because you want to stay within your brand guidelines and make sure that everything you’re doing is on brand. But at the same time, then you enter the different privacy settings that you need to be within, so that you don’t get your ad marked and then you don’t get a strike on Facebook, or even on Tik Tok. You don’t get your video taken down on Tik Tok, and then you get your account suspended for like 24 hours. And then if you get another strike, then it’s even longer. And it can get to the point where you can’t post videos anymore, even if what you’re doing isn’t necessarily bad, but it just violates these new upcoming privacy settings and other things that are coming up.

Adam Jones 9:37
And if you guys are aware, and we’ll probably post more about this later; Google’s implementing a new strike policy for pay-per-click advertising, which does include their YouTube ads as well. And so I could see some parts gain brute forced down in terms of the strike system. So there’s a lot shifting, a lot changing. Actually, this might be a good spot to end today’s talk because there is a lot changing and we do want to dive into that in the coming weeks. Anyways, enjoy the day!

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