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Apple and Google Are at War Over Privacy (Premium)

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Apple and Google are both terrible in their own ways. But while one has the upper hand when it comes to marketing privacy, that won’t help it win this war.

As you may recall, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made a big push for privacy and trust during his Google I/O keynote address earlier this month. But on the eve of that address, Pichai also wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in a bid to reach a wider audience. It’s worth reading, and it hits on a topic I’ve raised repeatedly: While people probably believe that the notion of “trusting Google” is inherently ludicrous, most people, in fact, do trust Google. They don’t just use Google apps and services like Maps, Gmail, Photos, and Search. They rely on them.

But there’s a dark side to Google, of course, and we’ve all experienced it. You and your spouse, or a friend, or whomever, are discussing some random topic out loud, in private or in public, and that thing you’re discussing magically begins appearing in ads you view online or on your phone. Most people, having observed this phenomenon, remark on the creepiness of it. And then go right back to using the same Google apps and services they’ve always used without even once considering investigating what they can do to stem the invisible tracking in which Google engages to make this happen.

There’s a psychology to this behavior, a reason why we collectively do nothing to help ourselves when it comes to privacy. But that can wait for a later day: For now, let’s examine the interesting and passive-aggressive ways in which Google and Apple are engaging in a war of words. Without really addressing the other company while they argue.

(Microsoft used to do with Apple back when Steve Jobs had returned to the company and was turning that business around; the theory was that you never named the enemy because doing so would only give it the attention it wanted.)

The title of Pichai’s op-ed piece provides our first hint that Google’s new marketing of trust and privacy is really about Apple, and about stealing away Apple’s moral superiority: “Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury Good.”

“Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services,” he writes. “Privacy must be equally available to everyone in the world.”

Those comments clearly allude to Apple. Less obviously, they vaguely address the different business models employed by the two companies.

That is, Apple is essentially marketing the fact that your purchase of expensive devices will provide you with Apple’s privacy protections. It’s like Mercedes or Volvo marketing the advanced safety features in their vehicles, features which are not yet available to the sweaty masses driving Fords, Toyotas, and Hyundais.

Google, meanwhile, understands that not everyone can afford an iPhone or the tsunami of services that Apple for which is now charging its audience. So, it offers a different model where its customers implicitly give up a bit of their privacy in order to access services for free. Those advanced safety features, after all, eventually do make their way from the luxury car market to more pedestrian vehicles that cost a lot less. Even better, Apple’s over-emphasis on privacy means that its own offerings can’t be as sophisticated as Google’s because Apple just doesn’t know as much about its users. Think about the differences between Apple’s dimwitted Siri and Google’s all-powerful Assistant.

These different business models are well understood, but Google also knows that it needs to shift the balance between customers and advertisers to be a bit more customer-friendly in order to escape the wrath of antitrust regulators. So, part of this month’s push in the NYT and at Google I/O was feeling out how many controls it can offer consumers without usurping its business model.

What’s perhaps more interesting is that Apple has responded to Pichai’s charges.

“Privacy considerations are at the beginning of the process, not the end,” Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi told The Independent in a recent interview. “When we talk about building the product, among the first questions that come out is: how are we going to manage this customer data?”

Federighi describes the differences between Apple’s model and Google’s in both business and moral terms.

“We have no interest in learning all about you … we think your device should personalize itself to you,” he said. “But that’s in your control that’s not about Apple learning about you, we have no incentive to do it. And morally, we have no desire to do it. And that’s fundamentally a different position than I think many, many other companies are in.”

And there it is.

In the same way that Google’s Pichai mentioned Apple without actually mentioning Apple, Apple’s Federighi mentioned Google without actually doing so.

(Yes, he could be alluding to other privacy disasters like Facebook as well. But while Apple may institutionally dislike Facebook, it doesn’t compete directly with the social network.)

The word “privacy” appears over 50 times in the Independent interview. And when the publication formally asked Federighi about the Pichai dig, he responded directly as well.

A lot.

“I don’t buy into the luxury good dig,” he said. “On the one hand, it’s gratifying that other companies in this space seem to be making a lot of positive noises about caring about privacy. I think it’s a deeper issue than what a couple of months and a couple of press releases would make. I think you’ve got to look fundamentally at company cultures and values and business model. And those don’t change overnight.”

On the face of things, those are fair charges. As I noted above, Google’s business model is predicated on violating user privacy as much as possible to feed its vast advertising empire. But Apple’s business model, to date, has been about fleecing its best customers on an ongoing basis by driving ever-more-expensive hardware upgrades on an annual or biennial basis. Now that that model is faltering, however, the firm is turning to services to make up the difference. Paid services.

“We certainly seek to both set a great example for the world to show what’s possible, to raise people’s expectations about what they should expect of products, whether they get them from us or from other people,” he says, somewhat addressing the fact that Apple’s hardware products are very, very expensive. “And of course, we love, ultimately, to sell Apple products to everyone we possibly could – certainly not just a luxury.”

We don’t have to do too much research here to understand that Apple only plays in the premium space of each market in which it competes. It’s cheapest new iPhone is half again as expensive as Google’s, for example.

“We think a great product experience is something everyone should have,” he says. “So, we aspire to develop those.”

The non-one-percenters in the audience will have to wait for Apple’s aspirations to bear fruit in the low-end of the market. But I recommend not holding your breath.

Back to privacy, Federighi also addresses criticisms that Apple’s products and services cannot be as good as Google’s because the firm is so hands-off with user data.

“We’re pretty proud that we are able to deliver the best experiences, we think in the industry, without creating this false trade-off that to get a good experience, you need to give up your privacy,” he said. “And so we challenge ourselves to do that sometimes that’s extra work. But that’s worth it. It’s a fun problem to solve.”

Regardless of the platitudes, Apple is absolutely at a disadvantage compared to Google and other firms when it comes to the sophistication of its offerings. But Apple’s marketing message is a good one, and it is smart to market privacy and wield it as a weapon against its competitors. The success of Apple Health, for example, rides in part on the belief of its users that Apple will protect their most private of private data.

That said, I can’t help but think that many buy an iPhone or another Apple device in part because of the firm’s privacy stance and then just use it with Google services, oblivious to the hypocrisy. Apple won’t prevent that, can’t prevent that, but that won’t stop the firm from claiming the moral high ground.

“Fundamentally, we view the centralization of personalized information as a threat, whether it’s in Apple’s hands or anyone else’s hands,” he continued. “We don’t think that security alone in the server world is an adequate protection for privacy over the long haul. And so the way to manage to ultimately defend user privacy is to make sure that you’ve never collected and centralized the data in the first place. And so, we every place we possibly can we build that into our architectures from the outset.”

What I keep coming back to as I consider these differing viewpoints is that Apple’s model feels aspirational but impossible, that there is an inevitable brick wall that occurs when you refuse to mine user data, even with their consent. Meanwhile, Google’s model is terrible and troubling and yet highly effective. When I’m driving between, say, Philadelphia and Boston and Google Maps alerts me to a speed trap or redirects me to a side-road to avoid an accident and the resulting slowdown, I feel pretty good about that relationship. And this will work regardless of which type of phone I choose. Which, ultimately, is the problem for Apple.

Put another way, I like Apple’s message. But I choose Google’s products and services. Because getting the thing done as efficiently as possible outweighs the platitudes. No matter what I think of Google and its business practices.

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Comments (42)

42 responses to “Apple and Google Are at War Over Privacy (Premium)”

  1. thalter

    It seems like Google is walking on the knife's edge with their business model. So far they seem to have avoided the privacy scandals that have afflicted Facebook and Amazon, and have managed to build up a modest cushion of customer goodwill through the usefulness and inexpensiveness of their products. However, that could change in an instant with a Cambridge Analytica type scandal or a Yahoo! type data breach, and public opinion against the company could turn at any time.

    • jwpear

      In reply to thalter:

      I think it is just a matter of time before this happens. Folks will eventually grow tired of the ever growing amount of spying that Google does on their activities and the data it collects. It will be difficult for Google to recover from this because everything they've done is built on this data collection. It's hard to back away.

  2. Pbike908

    Bust out the popcorn for this battle...it's only just beginning....


    What drives me NUTS about Apple is that I would wager the top two apps that the preponderance of their Iphone user base are 1) Google and 2) Facebook. And close behind is Amazon -- all MASSIVE data collectors. Seems to me that If Mr. Cook was serious about "privacy", perhaps he would place some restrictions on the folks he rants about. Oh, and did I mention that I believe Mr. Cook gladly accepts what has reported to be north of a $1 billion a year from Google???


    I also got a kick out of the Washington Post article yesterday concerning trackers phoning home in the middle of the night. Seems to be AGAIN, that if Mr. Cook was SERIOUS about privacy the DEFAULT in IOS would be Background App Refresh SWITCHED OFF and not the other way around...


    What can I say...Mr. Cook is also constantly waving the environmental flag while he fights RIght to Repair. Not to mention, Mr. Cook's customers are be definition the biggest carbon polluters in the world -- WEALTHY FOLKS.


    Mr. Cook is hardly the only mega wealthy liberal leaning icon cashing checks from the folks that he regularly wags his finger at....

  3. DBSync

    “It’s cheapest new iPhone is half again as expensive as Google’s, for example.”


    iPhone 7 is only $449. It is arguably as fast as the Google 3a.

  4. DBSync

    When I’m driving between, say, Philadelphia and Boston and Google Maps alerts me to a speed trap or redirects me to a side-road to avoid an accident and the resulting slowdown, I feel pretty good about that relationship.”


    That is data they gather from Waze and third party traffic reporting systems. Apple Maps does give you the same warnings, but not speed traps.

  5. pdhemsley

    If Google could charge a premium for hardware AND consume all our data, they would. (They have tried with the Pixel 3.)


    Apple charges a premium for hardware but is choosing not to consume our data.


    I don’t entirely trust either company, but I trust Apple more.

  6. nobody9

    "But there’s a dark side to Google, of course, and we’ve all experienced it. You and your spouse, or a friend, or whomever, are discussing some random topic out loud, in private or in public, and that thing you’re discussing magically begins appearing in ads you view online or on your phone. Most people, having observed this phenomenon, remark on the creepiness of it. And then go right back to using the same Google apps and services they’ve always used without even once considering investigating what they can do to stem the invisible tracking in which Google engages to make this happen." ...

    "On the face of things, those are fair charges. As I noted above, Google’s business model is predicated on violating user privacy as much as possible to feed its vast advertising empire."


    First off, this scenario does ring partially true, but it's no where near as simple as that. As it stands now, yes, almost no Android or iOS user is saavy enough to use the Google service options to limit their browser from spying on everything they type/dictate on any site/app they use. Why? Because, 1) it's not set up that way by default (yet), and 2) you have to care enough to look up how to turn the http/spyware off.


    However, in every device with Android Oreo or higher, they now everything they need to prevent every site you visit from knowing where you've been. One simply has to care enough to turn on the features that prevent the sites you interact with on your phone from tracking you on other sites. It starts in your Google profile by opting out of cross-site tracking and connected sites, continues by enabling cache-trashing, using a strong password app, avoiding all Amazon/Facebook apps (e.g. Alexa), following-up these ideas a little further than just Amazon/Facebook, and then slam-dunk it all by turning on the mac-address randomization feature in Android/iOS (and resetting all your WiFi connections).


    The whole point of that exercise is to eliminate all the easiest browser/device-trackers, which are neither Google's or Apple's fault, but falls squarely on the shoulders of web designers and the browser-etiquette they require of us.


    Do all that, and bang! That spooky scenario you just spoke of is deader than a door-nail (at least it has for me, despite the fact that I have Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a phones). Instead the sites you visit actually start marketing the same kind of things you see when you enter any brick-and-mortar store, and then even the more saavy b&m's can only track what you do via your reward card and credit card(s) and how many times you connect to their WiFi (and what sites you browse while there).


    AFAIK, iOS does not have nearly so many knobs you can tweak, but then again I can't stomach the cost of even tiptoeing into the Apple ecosystem to confirm this. All I know is that Apple hasn't patched the reported bug in their MAC-address randomization scheme yet, whereas Google has patched theirs.

    • nobody9

      In reply to nobody9:

      FWIW, this article, among many makes the mistake of linking creepy advertising with device makers instead of with the certain web-designers that purposefully scrape your device for every scrap of traceable evidence it can find, and leave instructions in your browser to make this easier. And your device's MAC address and browser cookies are the two most powerful tools in the trade. Obfuscate both, and the spookiness disappears, which in turn proves that Google's position on protecting your google-search-privacy rings mostly true.


      The same is unfortunately not true of anything you search for with Alexa, Facebook, and Walmart.

    • nobody9

      In reply to nobody9:

      I just confirmed with a few friends with a smattering of other phones (i.e. Moto G's, X's, and Z's) with Android Pie, whom I've tutored to use these obfuscation tips, and they report the same drop in spooky advertisements. It goes to show that the Android Pie tools work for righting most of the privacy wrongs that are wrongly attributed to Google and Apple in this article. And Android Q will make even further inroads into this trend.

  7. dcdevito

    But Google isn’t offering a cheaper Pixel because it believes everyone should use their great services. They’re offering a cheaper phone because no one is buying their expensive ones. And speaking of hypocrisy, their new data model of keeping the AI on the phone site sounds like Apple’s approach, all the while getting on stage and spewing all that Pro Privacy nonsense. Google is so easy to predict these days. And I’m not even a big Apple fan either but at least they’re sticking with the same message consistently over the years. Google just doesn’t want to get fined more than they already have.


    The issue for me is that the data collection happens in the first place. I think if Google charges upwards of $1k for devices then those devices should come preloaded with a G Suite account, which doesn’t get spied on per se. The goods sold should include software into the cost, not just hardware. For the lower prices or non-Google devices then collect all the data you want.


    Since switching to an iPhone my data usage has dropped somewhat, and this can’t be a coincidence. I also don’t use most Google services, only YouTube and YouTube TV.


    I don’t find Google’s app all that better than Apple’s:


    1. gmail - no thanks, I don’t want ads in my email app
    2. Maps - it’s okay but they perpetually add features to it no one asks for
    3. Waze - perhaps the only one miles better than Apple Maps, only because of police reporting
    4. Calendar - iCloud family calendar beats anything Google offers. Family sharing on google calendar is messy and sharing calendars isn’t an elegant solution. iCloud/iOS Calendar offers neat third party app calendars, like my kids’ sport leagues. GCalendar doesn’t.
    5. Tasks - iOS Notes and Reminders are better, Google Tasks is terrible. Keep is decent but disorganized
    6. Chrome - doesn’t use an ad blocker nor has reading mode, Safari with an ad blocker beats it.
    7. Messaging - LOL let’s not even go there on this one
    8. Google Assistant - yes way better than Siri, but all I used it for was Reminders and such.
    9. Duo - LOL no one uses this, FaceTime all the way
    10. Google Fit - Apple Health wipes the floor with Fit
    11. Google Photos - is great and beats Apple Photos - but the sharing tab is a giant mess
    12. Docs - I use Office.
    13. Google Podcasts - doesn’t come close to Apple Podcasts
    14. No built in video editor app whatsoever.
  8. Brockman

    Come on Paul, Apple is for the "one-percent"? The most popular iPhone is the XR, which starts at $749 (or $799 for the 128GB)-- right in line with the Pixel 3 or Galaxy S10. This translates to $30-$35 per month, which is affordable to a lot more than the one-percent crowd. I see cashiers at the grocery store with iPhones.

    And if you're being honest when you say that Google's model is "terrible and troubling" then maybe you shouldn't just roll over and accept it in the name of efficiency.

  9. Divodd

    "You and your spouse, or a friend, or whomever, are discussing some random topic out loud, in private or in public, and that thing you’re discussing magically begins appearing in ads you view online or on your phone. Most people, having observed this phenomenon, remark on the creepiness of it. And then go right back to using the same Google apps and services they’ve always used without even once considering investigating what they can do to stem the invisible tracking in which Google engages to make this happen."


    I think this is not a thing that is actually happening, but rather an example of what I call the parking spot bias (I'm sure it has some kind of scientific name but I sure don't know it). We've all had that experience when looking for a good parking spot, can't find one, and begrudgingly give in to parking far away, only to see that a good has opened up when walking by it while we approach our destination. Or, alternatively, that feeling that when we don't bring an umbrella it rains, but when we do bring one it doesn't. In all these scenarios, the boring, common scenarios (the thing we're talking about not showing up in search, finding our desired parking spot, not bringing an umbrella with no consequences) fall out of memory while the unique but extremely weird and frustrating coincidences stick in our mind, making us think that this is a thing that real and common when it in reality is not.

    • pargon

      In reply to Divodd:

      It absolutely happens, I've tested it.

      • jgraebner

        In reply to Pargon:

        But, yet, no security experts have ever proven the existence of targeted advertising based on passive voice monitoring. There's also the fact that the bandwidth and processing power to do that on any kind of mass scale would be too expensive to make such an effort profitable.


        What I think a lot of people don't realize is that targeted advertising isn't solely based on your own data, but also on data gathered from your known connections (such as Facebook friends) or even based on what others around your physical location are interested in. Basically, the main evidence for voice-based is usually someone noting that they saw ads about something that they had discussed verbally, but never searched for or discussed online. In those cases, the most likely explanation is that someone else they know did go online to do research or discuss the topic.

  10. cyloncat

    In other words, privacy IS a luxury good. If you can't afford it, you can't have it.

  11. red.radar

    I am in the process of moving completely away from Google services. The hardest things to transition has been email and muscle memory. I keep typing google.com to search.


    I can’t say I am regretting it. ....


  12. dontbe evil

    "google and privacy" cannot stay in the same sentence


    "what happens on your iphone, stays on iphone" just appeared to be not true (classic apple style to brainwash its fans)

  13. bill_russell

    Obviously all the "privacy violating" is all about turning your "doings" back around at you and presenting back in a useful ways. Is it not possible that google just wants to make good products, so that you will use their ecosystem and be exposed to whatever non overly intrusive ad opportunities in general?


    I'm just not seeing all this suposed creepy surreptitious listening and ad delivery. So one day I'm talking about "golf" because some person I'm with is into it. I never get golf ads - ever. Why wouldn't I get hammered wtih golf ads? After all, that's what I must "really" like, right, even though I've probably never typed "golf" into a search engine.

    Maybe because there is some threshold of ad expsosure between causing me to subconsiously go out and purchase golf products and services and realizing what sneaky google is up to? That would be some crazy brilliant psychology they'd be employing there.


    Why the need to find what you "really are interested in", by secretly listening in on coversations, but then giving ads for that "secret" you didn't want google to know you liked. What is a more direct way than ads based on what you search for?

  14. nicholas_kathrein

    I've read all the replies and most are anti Google. First, Paul's idea that google is listening to you all the time which is how ads start popping up about that thing is some flat earther poop. This has been disproved almost as much as flat earther nonsense. Dcdevito said that Google should for some reason sell their phones cheaper. That is nonsense. Their model was never cheap hardware for data. It was always free software for data. Big difference. He says Google's software / services aren't better than Apples. If that was the case then almost no one would use Google's services over Apples who have Apple products. Defaults are king and on iOS Apple won't even let you replace the default apps yet last I saw Google Maps use is around 40 + % and the many of Googles apps are in the top 10 on iOS downloads. There is a reason for that especially on the most walled off OS. As we all have more and more money to spend we want to just pay money to these companies to do away with the ads. Ok, maybe that is a option but that would kill the rest of the system for people without money to spend on these "1st world problems". Advertisers would pay if all the people with money choose to pay for ad blocking and that would kill the way the business works. Having everyone including people without money gathers more data which is just for advertising but also to make the services better for each user. I always wonder if people who say they don't see any difference between Googles services / software and other companies, if that person has opted out of all Google's data collection. If you do that then no you will not have any better services than Apple.

    • dcdevito

      In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

      Google IS selling a cheaper phone, so....


      And I choose not to use most of Google’s services, and I survived lol. It took companies like Apple to catch up in some areas like maps, but other alternatives work just fine. I don’t get the “Google is God” of software, their software is decent but it was never groundbreaking.

  15. djross95

    As you point out, Paul, on an app by app basis, Apple's apps are nowhere near as good as Google's. I and many others are okay with giving up a certain amount pf privacy to get a better app experience. After all, it's not like there's actual people in Mountain View gloating over my life's activities. They'd die of boredom, lol.

  16. Chris_Kez

    Or maybe the optimal choice is to buy Apple hardware and then just use Google's services on an as-needed basis. This would seem to provide the best balance of privacy and utility.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      Or just buy Apple hardware and not use Google except for search. At least where I've been Apple Maps is just as good as Google Maps. There are plenty of other (mostly paid) email services that don't mine your email for data. Google search is about the only Google product I use at home. At one of the places I work though I have to use Chrome or IE (they are still on Windows 7), but everywhere else I use Firefox.

      • Chris_Kez

        In reply to lvthunder:

        I try Apple Maps 8-10 times per month; Google Maps just has better business information and more points of interest here in southwest CT and the NYC metro area. I'm also continually annoyed that Apple uses Yelp. I don't want to be bounced to Yelp to get more information. I don't want to use Yelp at all. I'd rather Apple take some of their cash reserves and just plow it into maps and their own POI database. I can only surmise Apple is getting paid by Yelp the same way that Google pays to be the default search engine. Believe me, I want Apple Maps to be just as good. Hell, I use Duck Duck Go as my default search engine (but still have to resort to Google search a few times a week).

  17. PeteB

    No mention of Microsoft quietly sucking and slurping everyone's data in Windows 10 with the telemetry bullshit and lack of off switch. And data harvesting built into all the Android apps MS desperately wants people to use.

  18. will

    Personally I would like to see Apple or Google give me the choice. Give me the choice to choose if I want privacy and my data not shared with any services, OR the choice if I want to allow the services and apps to share data and work together. If I choose privacy this would limit how those services serve data to me in a predictive way. If I choose to have a more involved experience then that data would need to be parsed at some level by the services to provide me insights.


    Google has the best shot of doing this as they could provide both options without seeming like they just did flip on their stance. Apple has a little harder time since they have taken a harder stance on privacy.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to will:

      They do give you a choice. Go with Apple if you want privacy or go with Google if you want an advertising company controlling your phone.

    • mattbg

      In reply to will:

      Don't you find privacy too shrouded in grey areas to turn it on or off?


      I think this article frames it properly - we'll choose a side based on which company we trust more while also getting done what we need doing.


      For me, ads are mostly irrelevant (they only show me what I'm looking for after I've already bought it) and Bing is as accurate as Google. What benefit do I really get from giving Google access to my data?


      Apple's doing something valuable here as well, by experimenting with paid services to see if people really will pay for privacy like some of them say they will. They just need to open it up more. It's ridiculous that I'm paying for Apple News but can't access it on my Windows PC.


      The main risk with the Apple approach is that everything will become as whack-a-mole as their iOS app experience (iOS apps are mostly great, but the integration between them is not).

  19. martinusv2

    Dunno but I get an exception error at this code:


    Assert(Google.IsPrivate, true)


    :)

  20. AnOldAmigaUser

    People "trust" Google's apps to do what they are supposed to. Whether they trust Google, or any company for that matter, is another question. Personally I do not believe that most people understand the data that is being collected, or what can be done with it that directly effects them.

    The larger issue is not Google, but the other firms in the marketing technology landscape that aggregate, analyze, and direct ads at us, that are supposedly relevant; but like the Nutrimatic Beverage Dispensers from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, are not quite exactly not tea. I can, with some limits, trust Google, Apple, Microsoft, or any company that I directly interact with for a product or service. I cannot trust the maze of other companies that can then access that information. There is also the issues of shadow accounts created by companies who one does not directly have a relationship, but does interact with others that do.

    The book "Surveillance Capitalism" is an interesting analysis of how we got to this point. Leo Laporte did an interview with the author, Shoshana Zuboff, on the Triangulations podcast back in January, for those interested in the Cliff Notes version.

  21. Skolvikings

    I've never once had Google or Facebook or anyone else start showing me ads solely based on things I've discussed in conversations. This seems so odd to me. Is it really a thing?

    • dcdevito

      In reply to Skolvikings:

      Happened to me over a four day span I which I noted conversations I had with people, then checked my Google Feed hours later.


      I turned off the “Now Playing” feature on my Pixel 2 and it stopped. Hmmmm

    • payton

      In reply to Skolvikings: It is really a thing. My son and daughter-in-law were visiting us two weeks ago and told us about a pellet-fuel pizza oven that they were planning to buy. Literally minutes later my wife began seeing ads for those on her iPhone even though she had never heard of them before nor searched for them anywhere, and wasn't even using her phone at the time. It was, however, sitting on the counter in front of her during the conversation. Tell me it is just a coincidence that this ad for a fairly esoteric product appears just at that time. Other examples have happened to her but this one was terribly blatant.


      • jgraebner

        In reply to Payton:

        Your son or daughter-in-law had probably searched for it online and are almost certainly known by Google and other services to be related to you. Targeted advertising based on passive voice monitoring is an urban legend.

  22. quotiyapa

    Privacy would turn out as the deadliest weapon against countries at large. Privacy would be like futuristic nuclear weapon.


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