Apple Rolls Out New Data Privacy Features

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. rundown / ˈrʌnˌdaʊn / (n) – a summary

    The manual provides a rundown of the features of the new phone.

  2. unveil / ʌnˈveɪl / (v) – to reveal

    We will unveil our new product next month.

  3. compliance / kəmˈplaɪ əns / (n) – the act of agreeing to a rule or law

    The company changed its rules in compliance with the government’s new law.

  4. enforceable / ɛnˈfɔrs ə bəl / (adj) – can be imposed

    The company’s strict law is not easily enforceable.

  5. come under fire / kʌm ˈʌn dər faɪər / (idiom) – to receive negative judgments

    The social networking site came under fire after several user accounts were hacked.


Read the text below.

Apple has recently updated its operating system with new data privacy features.

As part of Apple’s iOS 11.3 software upgrade, the new features were released on all Apple devices, which include iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs in March 2018. One of the highlights is an integrated data privacy icon that looks like two people shaking hands. When an application is trying to obtain users’ personal information, the icon appears along with a rundown of how the data will be utilized and protected.

Additionally, the company unveiled a privacy tool, which allows users to manage their personal information, on its website. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, users can now download their personal data, modify them, and deactivate their accounts on the website.

Cook claims that they have been working on the new privacy features since January. However, the features were mainly released in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will be implemented this month. GDPR is a set of policies that allow individuals to manage and protect their personal data. Although this regulation will only be enforceable in European Union countries, Apple opted to make the new privacy features available worldwide.

Recently, Cook called out Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for how the latter handles Facebook users’ privacy. Earlier this year, Facebook came under fire after being accused of selling users’ personal information to advertisers and other organizations. Cook said that Apple would never do that to their customers and emphasized the importance of consumer privacy.

Meanwhile, Facebook also released its own data control tools. These tools allow users to find, download, and delete their personal information on their Facebook accounts.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Apple’s new privacy features are enough to protect its users’ personal information? Why or why not?
• Should the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) be implemented worldwide? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What are the possible risks of using personal information online? Discuss.
• How can people ensure that their online privacy is protected? Explain.