Craig Federighi Shares Apple's Four Privacy Principles in Conference Keynote

Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi today spoke at the virtual European Data Protection & Privacy Conference, where he highlighted Apple's approach to privacy and commitment to keeping customer data safe.


Federighi's keynote speech is available through the YouTube embed above, but make sure to skip to the 49 minute mark. Apple executives often speak about privacy, so much of what Federighi had to say at the event wasn't new. He focused on the four key privacy principles that guide Apple.

  1. Not collecting unnecessary data through data minimization.
  2. Processing as much data on device as possible.
  3. Making it clear to customers what data is collected and giving them tools to control how that data is used.
  4. Keeping data safe through security, including Apple's unique integration of hardware and software. Security is the foundation of privacy.

Federighi said that other companies "gather, sell, and hoard" as much personal data from customers as possible, which Apple finds "unacceptable."

Now, others take the opposite approach. They gather, sell, and hoard as much of your personal information as they can. The result is a data-industrial complex, where shadowy actors work to infiltrate the most intimate parts of your life and exploit whatever they can find--whether to sell you something, to radicalize your views, or worse.

Federighi reiterated that Apple believes privacy is a "fundamental human right," which is something that Apple executives often say, and he shared details on how Apple works on privacy behind the scenes. Apple's privacy engineers, for example, evaluate new features to collect as little data as possible.

Federighi also pointed out Apple's lead in the privacy field, such as end-to-end encryption, which inspired other companies to adopt better encryption after it was added to Apple's products. "As Tim Cook says, we want to be the ripple in the pond that creates larger changes."

He highlighted some of the new privacy-focused features in iOS, including the iOS 14 feature that will require apps to disclose when they're using tracking functionality to follow your movements across apps and websites. The App Tracking Transparency feature is set to be enabled in early 2021, and it has some developers and advertising companies up in arms.

Of course, some advertisers and tech companies would prefer that ATT is never implemented at all. When invasive tracking is your business model, you tend not to welcome transparency and customer choice.

Just as with ITP, some in the ad industry are lobbying against these efforts--claiming that ATT will dramatically hurt ad-supported businesses. But we expect that the industry will adapt as it did before--providing effective advertising, but this time without invasive tracking.

Getting this right will take time, collaboration, listening--and true partnership across the entire technology ecosystem. But we believe the result will be transformative.

Federighi said that Apple would love to see competition among companies for the "best, the strongest, and the most empowering privacy features."

In other words, we don't define success as standing alone. When it comes to privacy protections, we're very happy to see our competitors copy our work, or develop innovative privacy features of their own that we can learn from.

Federighi went on to conclude that he hopes Apple will be remembered not just for its devices, but for "helping humanity enjoy the benefits of this great technology... without requiring that they give up their privacy to do it."

"It's in our power today to end that false tradeoff... to build, for the long term, not just a foundation of technology, but a foundation of trust," he said.

Top Rated Comments

rk-apple Avatar
15 months ago
Apple's commitment to privacy is the major reason I allow myself (and my family) to get so sucked into the Apple ecosystem. I trust Apple way more than the Amazon or Google ecosystems.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
15 months ago
Outstanding Presentation!

Craig for CEO of Apple.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
15 months ago

Too bad it translates to harassing their developers with ever-changing security policies which make it even harder to release new apps. They expect developers to provide way more data than most users even care about. Let's face it, we all just click the "Next" button as soon as we see it...
Now, if the app developers instituted their own policies that were at a minimum the Apple standard, would not be a problem, and the consumers would be way better off. I have no tolerance for a whiny developer that complains when having to institute stricter and stricter privacy protections, because, well, they have been violating my privacy as a course of business, and I would prefer it stop.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bigboy29 Avatar
15 months ago

Apple's commitment to privacy is the major reason I allow myself (and my family) to get so sucked into the Apple ecosystem. I trust Apple way more than the Amazon or Google ecosystems.
So much this!

One could argue that while they too are not perfect (nobody is) - the fact that their revenue does not depend on selling of data is where it's at.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bigboy29 Avatar
15 months ago

So now all industries have to follow an "Apple Standard". No one has violated your privacy against your will. You can easily stop using websites or services that "violate" the "Apple Standard".
That is actually not true; for example - one could have no Facebook account and yet, Facebook has trackers in many unrelated apps and most websites, and is collecting information. Same for Google ad network etc. The amount of tracking that goes on that is not exposed to end users is staggering, actually.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
15 months ago

If you really think Apple cares about privacy and security then read this article. They left loopholes in Big Sur so that their apps and processes can get around firewalls and VPNs. You have to ask yourself why would Apple leave holes in their OS so their apps can get around firewalls if they care so much about privacy.
This translates to Apple saying we care about your privacy as much as we don't want other companies to track you, but we will make sure our apps can send all the data we want back to us. Since we made the devices it's ok for us to track you, just not anybody else.

https://www.macworld.co.uk/news/apples-own-programs-bypass-firewalls-vpns-in-big-sur-3798193/
I think you didn't think this one out very well. The uses are not being made to track you, simple as that
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Android 12 vs iOS 14 Feature

Google Previews Android 12 With Deeper Customization and iOS 14-Inspired Privacy Protections

Tuesday May 18, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
During its Google I/O developers conference today, Google previewed Android 12, the next version of Android that will ship to millions of Android devices around the world later this year. Google is mainly targeting customization as the theme for this year's new release and a new design language that it's calling "Material You." Google says this new design language brings a "humanistic...
craig federighi wwdc 2018

Apple Software Chief Craig Federighi Defends App Tracking Transparency Feature

Friday November 20, 2020 8:55 am PST by
Following Apple's confirmation that it still plans to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and websites, which has attracted criticism from companies such as Facebook, Craig Federighi has explained more about the rationale behind the change to The Independent. The App Tracking Transparency feature allows...
play store google

Google to Limit Which Apps Can See Other Installed Apps on Android Devices, Evoking Similar Privacy Changes Apple Made in iOS 9

Saturday April 3, 2021 3:23 am PDT by
Google will soon make it harder for third-party apps to see what other apps are installed on a user's Android device, a policy change that evokes similar privacy protections Apple introduced in iOS 9, way back in 2015. According to XDA-Developers, upcoming amendments to Google's Developer Program Policy will limit which apps can access an Android user's full list of installed apps. As noted...
iOS14AntitrackFacebookSadfeature

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...
generic tracking prompt blue

Apps Continuing to Track Users Despite Apple's Privacy Prompt

Monday June 7, 2021 8:04 am PDT by
Apple is facing increasing pressure to tighten its App Tracking Transparency rules after it was found that third parties are using workarounds to identify users who do not consent to be tracked, according to the Financial Times. Apple rules around App Tracking Transparency, which came into effect as part of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, require apps to ask for consent to track users across...
maxresdefault

Apple Shares New 'Tracked' Ad With Humorous Real-World Analogy of App Tracking Transparency

Thursday May 20, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new privacy-focused ad on its YouTube channel, highlighting App Tracking Transparency on the iPhone. In the spot, a man orders a coffee, and the barista follows him out as he gets in a cab, providing his date of birth to the cab driver. The cab driver and the barista follow him throughout his day, keeping track of his whereabouts and viewing his personal data....
google privacy labels

Google Plans to Add Privacy Labels to Play Store Apps Next Year

Thursday May 6, 2021 11:57 am PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced App Privacy labels for App Store apps, which are designed to let customers know details about the data that an app will collect about them before they make the decision to install an app. Google is planning to follow in Apple's footsteps with the Play Store, introducing a new feature that will require developers to provide transparency into how apps are using...
tim cook privacy conference

Tim Cook Implies That Facebook's Business Model of Maximizing Engagement Leads to Polarization and Violence

Thursday January 28, 2021 9:46 am PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook today spoke at the virtual Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection conference, condemning the business model of companies like Facebook and emphasizing Apple's commitment to advancing user privacy. "At a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good ...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...