Not long ago, in early September, Apple presented its new products’ line-up and unleashed updates to its operating systems. This week, Apple announced updates to its privacy policy.

Few years ago, it would have been difficult to think that an update to the privacy policy by one of the manufacturers could be of any noticeable interest. In-house councils usually regarded issues relevant to privacy policies as an important, however mostly formal, element in process of launching of a new product or service.

Now, when the development of technologies has made these particular technologies more accessible to a broad number of manufacturers, devices are no longer that different one from each other as it was before. At that focus of competition has shifted from purely technological advances to the creation of a unique “user experience”. For this reason, today, the privacy policy of a manufacturer (or a service provider) may become a decisive competitive edge, and the professional role of a lawyer is becoming increasingly important in this context.

Apple’s updated privacy policy in this regard is worth of attention since in addition to number of other apparently successful user experience solutions, Apple positions its data protection as a key differentiator of its devices and services.

In this context, it could be outlined five reasons that make updated “Privacy Policy by Apple” worthwhile of certain attention:

  1. Apple positions itself and its products against monetization of personal data as a business model, alluding to its old thesis that a user who uses a free online service stops being simply a user and becomes a “product” whose data can be sold to advertisers.
  2. At the same time, Apple is trying to set a new bar in the area of personal data protection, explaining in plain and simple words what its privacy principles are and what exactly is designed in each of its apps for the protection of privacy.
  3. Yet again, Apple puts a logical emphasis on the fact that in their business model they do not rely on revenue from advertising. It is noteworthy that the front page of the Privacy section at apple.com contains a “conditionally informal” statement addressing to users, where Tim Cook outlines the basic elements of the principles guiding Apple in matters of personal data protection. Just a few years ago, it would probably be hard to imagine the СЕО of a large vendor would personally be attending to such matter.
  4. Apple openly tells its users that certain part of their business is built on cooperation with advertisers (namely, iAd), because some app developers depend on that business model. iAd does not get data from Health and HomeKit, Maps, Siri, iMessage, call history, or any iCloud service like Contacts or Mail.
  5. Special emphasis is given to the procedure and types of information that Apple shares with governmental agencies with particular stress being put on that Apple has never allowed access to its servers and never will.