Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Apple takes aim at Facebook’s omnipresent advertising machine
蘋果要瓦解臉書鋪天蓋地的廣告機制

Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi talks about personal privacy and security on Monday last week at the Apple Worldwide Developer conference in San Jose, California, US.
蘋果軟體工程資深副總裁克雷格·費德里吉,上週一於美國加州聖荷西的蘋果全球開發者大會談論個人隱私與安全。

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

Hot on the heels of two major data privacy scandals involving the US presidential election and the sharing of user data with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, Facebook Inc now has another problem: Apple Inc is preparing to take a big bite out of its business model.

At last week’s annual software developers conference, Apple unveiled enhanced privacy features for the latest version of its Web browser app, Safari, which will be turned on by default on iPhones, iPads and Mac computers, and are designed to put an end to the murky business of data tracking.

Data tracking is used extensively by companies such as Facebook and Google — but also mysterious third-party data brokers — to follow users around the Web. Even if you do not use Facebook’s or Google’s services, they will likely still have a file on you. Apple’s enhanced privacy technology attempts to combat this in two ways.

First, in addition to removing cookies (tiny programs added to your browser), Safari will block trackers used by social networking sites. In the case of Facebook, these can take the form of “social plug-ins” such as “Like” and “Share” buttons — estimated to be on more than 13 million Web sites, comment fields, cross-site logins and even pixels invisible to the naked eye, called Facebook Pixel, which are embedded in more than 10,000 Web sites according to research by Belgian privacy watchdog, the Privacy Commission. Even if you are not logged into Facebook and you haven’t clicked on any plug-ins, Facebook can still use these elements to track your browsing activity. Apple aims to shut down this vast network of digital “listening posts.”

Second, through an update to its Safari browser, Apple will tackle the lesser known technique of “canvas fingerprinting,” which allows a user to be identified through their device and Web browser’s settings, even if they have removed cookies and are taking steps to hide their IP address such as by using a VPN service. In future, all Apple devices should look nearly identical to Web sites, limiting the ability of companies to apply fingerprints.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. business model phr.

商業模式 (shang1 ye4 mo2 shi4)

2. data tracking phr.

資訊追蹤 (zi1 xun4 zhui1 zong1)

3. third party phr.

第三方 (di4 san1 fang1)

4. user base phr.

用戶群 (yong4 hu4 qun2)

5. revenue stream phr.

營收流 (ying2 shou1 liu2)

6. privacy protection phr.

隱私保護 (yin3 si1 bao3 hu4)


Apple’s positioning as a champion of privacy appears to be an astute commercial move: By leveraging its large user base it can shut down major revenue streams of its rivals, and other companies — such as Microsoft — may follow suit as enhanced privacy protection enters the mainstream. However, the decision may also be guided by Apple’s philosophy.

The company has traditionally taken a more robust stance on the privacy of its customers’ data since, unlike Google or Facebook, its business model relies on selling hardware and services, not advertising. Apple CEO Tim Cook has described data tracking as “totally out of control.”

Some EU and US politicians are now calling for Facebook to be broken up. One thing’s for sure, until Facebook can win back public trust, Apple will continue to dine out on its woes.

(Edward Jones, Taipei Times)

緊接在兩件重大資訊隱私醜聞爆發後──亦即涉入美國總統選舉,以及和中國電信巨擘華為科技公司共享用戶資訊──臉書(Facebook)現在面臨另一個麻煩:蘋果(Apple)正磨刀霍霍,打算利用其商業模式大撈一筆。

在上週的軟體開發者年度大會上,蘋果揭露該公司網頁瀏覽應用程式「Safari」最新版本強化的隱私功能。該功能將在iPhone、iPad,以及麥金塔電腦上預設為開啟,預期為資訊追蹤的秘密勾當畫下句點。

臉書與Google等公司──以及神秘的第三方資訊掮客──廣泛地使用資訊追蹤,在網路上亦步亦趨地跟蹤用戶。就算你沒有在使用臉書或Google的服務,這些公司仍可能擁有你的資料。蘋果公司強化的隱私保護技術試圖以兩種方式打擊資訊追蹤行為。

首先,除了移除cookies(也就是附加在你瀏覽器的小程式),Safari也將阻擋社群網站使用的追蹤器。以臉書來說,追蹤器可能會以「讚」和「分享」按鍵等「社群軟體插件」的形態出現,估計出現於超過一千三百萬個網站、留言區、跨網站登入、甚至是肉眼無法看見的程式碼「Facebook像素」。根據比利時的隱私守門員機構「隱私保護委員會」研究指出,嵌入這類程式碼的網站多達一萬多個。就算你並未登入臉書帳號,也沒有點選任何社群插件,臉書仍然可以利用這些元素追蹤你的網路瀏覽行為。蘋果的目標就是讓這片數位情報收集中心構成的巨大網絡關門大吉。

This story has been viewed 3623 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top