privacy January 22

AAPL: 101.42

5.12
Stock Chart

Three days ago Apple released an iOS 9.2.1 update with seemingly arbitrary ‘security updates and bug fixes’ listed in the release notes. As we’ve seen time and time again with these type of software updates, most often these small updates seem to go ignored by the general public. We stress how important it is to keep your device up to date, even with small security updates like this.

As is customary after Apple releases a security update version of iOS, the firms and people that discovered the vulnerabilities are coming out explaining how and why these security updates matter. Apple has already included a breakdown of what security issues were resolved in iOS 9.2.1, but it’s still nice to get a further detailed look into what made the vulnerabilities possible in the first place.

SkyCure, a company helping in threat defense in EMM and MDM solutions, released a blog post this week detailing their discovery while noting that Apple had finally resolved it.

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privacy January 21

AAPL: 96.30

-0.49
Stock Chart

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is the latest to weigh in on the issue of data encryption policy with the executive telling The Wall Street Journal that Apple CEO Tim Cook and other tech execs should leave the decision making on encryption policy up to Congress:

“I don’t think it is Silicon Valley’s decision to make about whether encryption is the right thing to do. I understand Tim Cook’s decision, but I don’t think it’s his decision to make”… I personally think that this is an issue that should be decided by the American people and Congress, not by companies,”

…The AT&T chief said his own company has been unfairly singled out in the debate over access to data. “It is silliness to say there’s some kind of conspiracy between the U.S. government and AT&T,” he said, adding that the company turns over information only when accompanied by a warrant or court order.

That statement follows a meeting among Cook, other Silicon Valley executives and White House officials last week to discuss topics related to encryption policies and government access to data.

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privacy January 15

AAPL: 97.13

-2.39
Stock Chart

Apple’s strong position on privacy and encryption has been at odds with the United States government’s pressure to step up its national security efforts in the wake of recent terrorist attacks across the globe. In short, iPhones are encrypted to protect customer data from prying eyes, and law enforcement agencies believe that gives criminals a safe haven for communication that can’t be traced.

The Obama administration including the former and current attorney general and FBI director have strongly voiced opposition to Apple’s position, and Tim Cook reportedly pressed the White House to back strong encryption as recently as this week. So it’s no surprise that Tim Cook and Apple came up at the end of last night’s Republican presidential debate hosted by the Fox Business channel where at least one candidate was asked to address his position on the subject.

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9to5toys 

privacy January 13

AAPL: 97.39

-2.57
Stock Chart

Apple’s rocky iAd advertising platform is about to see some major changes, says Buzzfeed’s John Paczkowski. According to the report, Apple plans to dismantle its iAd sales team and stop its role as a middleman between publishers and customers:

While iAd itself isn’t going anywhere, Apple’s direct involvement in the selling and creation of iAd units is ending. “It’s just not something we’re good at,” one source told BuzzFeed News. And so Apple is leaving the creation, selling, and management of iAds to the folks who do it best: the publishers.

Apple is phasing out its iAd sales force entirely and updating the iAds platform so that publishers can sell through it directly.

The big news, Buzzfeed notes, is publishers that play ball will take home 100% of the ad revenue generated rather than a 70/30 split with Apple.

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privacy November 17, 2015

AAPL: 113.69

-0.49
Stock Chart

Nobody who watched the news coverage of the terrorist attacks in Paris could fail to be moved by the scenes and the stories emerging from it. It was undeniably a horrific series of events, and it’s only human nature to want action to be taken to reduce the likelihood of future such atrocities.

But there is always a danger at such times that emotion, rather than rational thought, will drive government policy-making. I won’t get into the broader theme there, as there are more appropriate forums for that, but there is one aspect that is very much on-topic for us: the battle between Apple and governments over encryption.

There have already been unattributed reports that the terrorists in Paris used encrypted communication. I have no idea whether there is any specific evidence for that, but it would hardly be damning were such evidence to emerge: it would be frankly astonishing if they hadn’t.

There are three reasons why Apple is right to maintain that it will continue to offer end-to-end encrypted communication no matter how much governments in the USA, UK and elsewhere may protest …  expand full story

privacy November 10, 2015

AAPL: 116.77

-3.80
Stock Chart

In a wide-ranging interview with the Telegraph, Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted that the company may launch more health-focused products in future – but will keep those separate from the Apple Watch. The reason, he says, is that the FDA approval needed for full-on health devices would slow down the pace of innovation of the Watch.

Cook hints that Apple may have more plans for the health sphere, in a revelation which will intrigue Wall Street, but he doesn’t want the watch itself to become a regulated, government-licensed health product. “We don’t want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn’t mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it — maybe an app, maybe something else.” 

This represents a significant change from expectations …

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