Embarrassing medical info fuels jokes in Apple’s privacy-themed ad

Embarrassing medical info fuels jokes in Apple’s privacy-themed ad


Embarrassing medical info fuels jokes in Apple’s privacy-themed ad
Apple's latest video advert uses humor to drive home an important point.
Screenshot: Apple

Walking into a doctor’s office to be greeted by a public announcement of the medical condition you’re there to have treated would be a nightmare. A nightmare that plays out in the latest Apple video advert.

But one person in the ad is safe from embarrassment: the one who stores her medical data in the iPhone Health app, which Apple designed to protect user privacy.

A funny look at a serious subject

Although there those who overshare the details of their last medical procedure with random people they meet on a plane, most people want to keep their medical information private.

Apple highlights this with humor in the video it published Wednesday, The Waiting Room.

Actress Jane Lynch is the announcer who reveals that one person in a waiting room needs a doctor for hemorrhoid problems, another has a nasty rash, plus the woman’s halitosis and a man’s lice infestation.

When they complain, she says, “It’s your health data. You’ve been sharing it without realizing it.” But that’s not true of the iPhone user.

Apple Health designed around privacy protections

The iPhone Health application tracks fitness data like users’ steps and walking/running distance, how much they sleep, their workouts and more. As a medical tool, can even help keep up with medications, and store medical records.

“All of our health features are built to keep your data secure and protect your privacy,” promises Apple. “Your health data stays on your device and is encrypted when your phone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.”

Incidentally, Apple’s medical data app has so far been limited to iPhone, but a recent leak indicated that an iPad version is in development.

This is far from Apple’s first video highlighting the privacy benefits of its devices. It released Data Auction a year ago, for example.

The company calls privacy a “fundamental human right” and builds it into its software and hardware… not that there aren’t a few questionable decisions now and then.


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