Apple Moving Forward In App Privacy; Google…Not So Much?

Apple / iOS / Security

Read any tech site, tech blog, forum, etc., these days and before long you’ll come across the new buzzword of “security,” and its close cousin, “privacy.” With all the recent hacks and security breaches, consumers are slowly beginning to think about the safety of their data.

From the get-go, I want to make clear that this is not a fearmongering, ‘slam Google’ type of article, nor is it an ‘Apple cheerleading’ article. Facts are facts, and fanboys one way or the other will want to twist them to fit their worldview.

An article by takes an interesting look at the app privacy debate surrounding the upcoming release of iOS 9. While ads hardly make a dent in Apple’s revenue stream, they are Google’s bread and butter. According to adexchanger:

Apple’s content-blocking feature allows developers to create extensions that block cookies, images and trackers. Apple also is implementing a security and encryption provision in iOS 9 called App Transport Security (ATS) that will require developers to use secure communication – known as TLS, or transport layer security, the successor to SSL – between their apps and web services.

In layman’s terms, it is like HTTPS for apps. Any apps developed using Apple’s latest toolkit, Xcode 7, all non-HTTPS connections will be prevented by default. This new requirement will apply only to new apps and apps that update to iOS 9.

Back on Aug. 26, Google provided developers who use Google’s AdMob service with what Google is calling a “short term fix” — a snippet of code that essentially disables the ATS privacy feature in iOS 9, by adding an exception to allow nonsecure content —i.e., ads.

Google has paid lip service to the concept of HTTPS. Earlier this year two of Google’s VP’s working in the ads division wrote that they expected the vast majority of mobile, video and desktop ads served to the Google Display Network, AdMob and DoubleClick publishers to be encrypted.

But based on their August 26 release where they stated:

While Google remains committed to industrywide adoptions of HTTPS, there isn’t always full compliance on third-party ad networks and custom creative code served via our systems.

it seems that Google’s attitude is “It’s not us, it’s them.”

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. The bottom line is Apple wants to move iDevices. Selling the security and privacy points will help that dramatically. Whether or not the company truly cares deep down inside about your privacy remains to be seen.

What are your feelings on ads? Are you glad Apple is taking a step to add a layer of security to them? Let us know in the comments!

  Source: AdExchanger
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