Man at His Best

Steve Jobs Warned Us All About The Facebook Data Scandal

“We take privacy extremely seriously"

BY Nick Pope | Mar 30, 2018 | Technology

Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs always had preternatural foresight when it came to the future of tech, and it looks like he saw the current Facebook privacy scandal coming a long way off.

The social network giant is coming under heavy fire for handing 50 million Facebook profile’s data to a mysterious company called Cambridge Analytica who then used the information to fuel political campaigns, including the ‘Leave’ vote in the 2016 EU referendum and Donald Trump’s presidential run.

The unsettling revelation was shortly followed by news that Facebook have also been logging call and text records of Android users. #DeleteFacebook soon trended on Twitter, and Mark Zuckerberg was thrown into full crisis mode.

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If only he’d listened to Jobs back in 2010, when he warned his fellow tech entrepreneurs against taking peoples’ trust for granted.

Speaking at the D8 conference a year before his death, Jobs was asked about companies who had faced privacy concerns, including Facebook and Google Buzz. He delivered this response:

“Silicon Valley is not monolithic [and Apple has] always had a very different view of privacy than some of our colleagues in the Valley,” Jobs began.

“We take privacy extremely seriously. As an example we worry a lot about location in phones, and we worry that some 14-year-old is going to get stalked and something terrible is going to happen because of our phone.

“So, as an example, before any app can get location data we don’t make it a rule that they have to put up a panel and ask because they might not follow that rule. They call our location services and we put up the panel, saying ‘this app wants to use your location data, is that OK with you?’ Every time they want to use it.

“We do a lot of things like that to ensure people understand what these apps are doing. That’s one of the reasons we have the curated App Store – we have rejected a lot of apps that want to take a lot of your personal data and suck it up into the cloud… a lot.

“A lot of people in the Valley think we’re really old-fashioned about this, and maybe we are, but we worry about stuff like this.

“Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. That’s what it means. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do.

“Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data."

Will Mark Zuckerberg learn his lesson? Well, judging by comments he made in college, he knew it all along.

 

Source: Esquire US


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