Apple opened 2019 by flipping the proverbial bird to its competitors, namely Google. Though Apple doesn’t attend CES it didn’t stop the company from erecting a massive billboard near the venue highlighting the iPhone’s privacy features. The billboard reads, “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone,” followed by a link to Apple’s privacy features. Since Tim Cook’s admonishment of Facebook in 2018 for the company’s hacks and sale of personal data, privacy appears to be the strategy for iPhone marketing in the new year.
This is not Cook’s first foray into speaking out about privacy issues and the potential need for government to get involved in data privacy laws. Some in the U.S. are calling for EU style GDPR laws. As we entered 2019 several tech pundits predicted that the U.S. Government will address data privacy this year, but I am skeptical of both the desire and ability of Congress to address the issues in any significant way.
Why? First, despite our elected officials’ mastery of social media for the purpose of getting elected, their collective ignorance of tech is embarrassing. Second, there is a demonstrated unwillingness to pass any type of reasonable gun legislation, because they won’t bit the hand that feeds them. This will be the case for tech as well. I’m not saying there won’t be the typical Kabuki theatrics that we saw late last year. There will be hearings. There will be admonishments. There will be continued demonstrations of embarrassing lack of knowledge in how all things tech work. However, my prediction for 2019 is that nothing will even be put forth that remotely resembles GDPR.
Do you agree or disagree? I’d like to hear what you think.