Apple’s ‘privacy czars’ stop devs from getting their hands on your data

By

Apple FBI encryption
Apple takes privacy pretty darn seriously.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Are you a third-party dev, advertiser, or Apple employee hoping to use targeted ads or personalized recommenders based on Apple customer data? There’s an app for that. Good luck with that!

That’s according to a new report, which states that Apple has an internal committee consisting of three expert “privacy czars,” who have have to sign off on any and all collection of Apple user data.

And if you thought the App Store review process could drag on, you’ve got another thing coming: debates over individual uses of data at Apple can, in some cases, continue for upwards of one year.

Apple’s three privacy czars include Jane Horvath, a lawyer who previously worked as part of Google’s global privacy counsel; Guy “Bud” Tribble, a member of the original Macintosh team who worked closely with Steve Jobs; and Erik Neuenschwander, who is known to scrutinize lines of code to ensure they are living up to Apple’s privacy policy.

Particularly sensitive questions may be elevated up to Tim Cook, who oversees the group.

Apple’s sensitivity when it comes to security and user data has put it at the center of an ongoing clash with the FBI. Apple was set to take on the Department of Justice in federal court over the issue today, although that confrontation was cancelled at the last minute.

The company’s focus on encryption has also resulted in challenges for Apple’s own projects. This include the iAd App Network, Apple’s in-app advertising tool which was shuttered earlier this year, and the rollout of HomeKit-compatible devices, since Apple reportedly insists on super-strict requirements for all devices.

Source: Reuters