Tim Cook has been adamant that Apple is not in the business of collecting your data, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t brainstorming ways it could make some extra money by skimming key bits of personal info off your iPhone — like how much money you’ve got in the bank.
In fact, Apple has devised a way to display targeted ads on users’ devices based on what they can actually afford to purchase.
According to U.S. patent number 20150199725, filed by Apple in March 2015, the advertising system would stay on your phone and track the status of your debit and credit cards. By seeing the balance in your bank account, Apple’s targeted ads would then serve up products you can afford, rather than serving ads for a bunch of stuff advertisers would like you to buy.
Apple’s patent specifies that “ads delivered to the user includes only one or more objects having a purchase price less than or equal to the available credit for that user.” The obvious advantage would be that goods and services individuals cannot afford won’t be delivered to them, which could lead to higher conversion rates.
Keep in mind that just because Apple has a patent on tapping your bank account data for ads doesn’t mean the company will actually implement it. But differential pricing is an area a lot of big tech companies have started exploring to increase sales.
Implementing the targeted system could be tricky, but one way Apple could pull it off without compromising its promise not to share personal data with advertisers would be to hash credit card data and store it on iOS devices’ secure enclave. That way advertisers would never be able to see it, and iPhone users wouldn’t have to worry about their bank account info getting exposed to attackers.
Via: Business Insider