In the wake of the Facebook data privacy scandal, Apple has focused on its longtime commitment to privacy. Today Apple released a new iPad, intended to compete with Google and Microsoft’s tablets that hold the majority of the education market. People are hyper-focused on privacy right now, after Facebook received loads of negative press over how it handled, or didn’t handle, its users’ data.
Education products must be private. People are worried about their own privacy, but parents are even more worried about the exposure of their children’s data. IoT isn’t just making its way into our kitchens and living rooms, toys are more connected than ever. Germany even banned certain toys over fears that they could lead to privacy breaches for children.
“It’s really important to us that you understand this data stays private,” Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of marketing, said on stage at the event. “Privacy is integral to everything we do at Apple … It’s something we are very passionate about.”
Apple Sets Itself Apart with Commitment to Privacy
Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Apple executives have been outspoken in favor of adding more privacy regulations to companies like Facebook. Apple may have timed their latest foray into the education market perfectly, now that privacy is top of consumers’ minds. Prescott added, “while teachers see each student’s progress information, we don’t and neither can anybody else.” Along with the new iPad, Apple also added new apps specifically for education. One is called Schoolwork – a cloud-based app that lets teachers distribute handouts, organize assignments, and create activities for students to complete on their own iPads.
Tim Cook said in an interview at the China Development Forum that privacy abuse and data harvesting “has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary.” Cook also added that the ability of anyone to know every intimate detail of your life “shouldn’t exist.” Apple has fought for consumer privacy for years, most notably in its decision to fight the FBI on cracking its iPhone’s encryption.