New Apple TV ad highlights iPhone privacy in a unique way

Apple is known for many things, but at the top of the rankings are both its commitment to user privacy and its (sometimes) iconic ad campaigns. The latest news from the company fuses the two beautifully.

In a new 90 second place called “Data Auction”, Apple’s full creativity is on display. But the ad can also do a great job of informing viewers – and probably terrifying many of them – about how their personal data is being traded throughout the day by powerful data brokers.

Apple’s new campaign is also fairly current. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has just issued published a report in real-time bidding, the process brokers and advertisers use to track you and sell your data. The ICCL report found that “a person in the US exposes their online activity and location 747 times a day,” and that a total of US Internet users will see their location and online behavioral data tracked and shared “107 trillion times” per year.

While Apple’s new privacy ad isn’t specifically linked to the ICCL’s new report, it helps to visualize how this mass tracking happens — with each disclosure in the ad also representing an Apple feature that helps prevent the data tracking industry’s tricks used to snoop on you.

The ad follows a young woman, Ellie, as she encounters a Sotheby’s-style physical manifestation of a data broker auction offering her data for sale to the highest bidder. The auction starts with her personal emails and then moves on to her drugstore purchase history and her location details (the auctioneer explains: “It’s not scary! It’s commerce!”

The following are her contacts, recent transactions, browsing history, and her nightly texting habits. While the auctioneer is about to sell another piece of her data, Ellie pulls out her iPhone and uses Apple’s App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection features to prevent even more of her data from being sold. The ad ends with the tag: “It’s your data. iPhone helps keep it that way.”

The spot does more than just highlight the app tracking transparency and email privacy protection features Apple rolled out most recently. Every piece of Ellie’s data auctioned in the ad has an associated iPhone privacy-protecting feature. The auction is moving so fast – without explicitly mentioning most of the relevant features – that it feels like it’s full of Easter eggs. Here’s a cheat sheet:

But no matter how good the ad is, there is no such thing as perfect privacy. The ad shows what Apple has already done, but there are still many things Apple can do to help users become more secure and keep their personal information private. With the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference less than three weeks away, we won’t have long to wait to see what Apple plans next for keeping even more of our data private for the companies and institutions that make billions from mining it. .

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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