Apple trolls Google over privacy issues with Google’s Sidewalk Labs

Posted on Posted in How to Guide for Marketers

I don’t think we know how we feel about privacy until we have a privacy. Then we get hacked, and all of a sudden, we want all the privacy and security we can get. The balance is difficult in today’s world as some of these algorithms help us see products and services that fit our lives. I’ll admit, somedays I wish the algorithms were even better. But I know that comes at a cost. Efficiency verses privacy. Google’s sidewalk labs project is a modern look at urban planning, and is causing many to be concerned over giving up their privacy. 

Apple’s new billboard about privacy reads, “We’re in the business of staying out of yours. Privacy. That’s iPhone.” Now, don’t get me wrong; this is likely a 4/10 on creative message. One big yawn. Until you see where it is placed. Apple has put their billboard right beside Google’s Sidewalk Labs project; which is currently under review over privacy issues. 


What is Google's Sidewalk Labs?

Sidewalk Labs is a modern “smart city” urban development project, which will have its first real test case in Toronto. 

For the past few decades, Toronto has had unused waterfront land they could never figure out what they should do with it. In 2017, along comes Google offering investment and partnership in a project called Sidewalk Labs with a vision of creating “a testbed for emerging technologies, materials and processes” to tackle issues such as the sustainability, accessibility, inclusiveness and prosperity of urban communities.” Rather than having to re-wire cities that were created 200 years ago, this is the first time an urban area will be built using what technologies we have in the 21st century. 

Google says Sidewalk Labs is reimagining cities to improve quality of life. Privacy advocates say that really means “Google wants to wire up every inch of the infrastructure so we can collect and sell the data. Following objections, Canada’s privacy commissioner has begun to review the case to make sure everything is onside. 

Personally, I’m pro efficiency. This Sidewalk Labs certainly is revolutionary in how we might live in the future. Have a look for yourself.

Privacy appears to be a big deal for Apple and Google’s Sidewalk Labs is the perfect opening

This type of competitive ad seems out of character for Apple, who normally focuses on their own brand and being a huge brand, rather than getting caught up in what their competitors are doing. I guess privacy is a big issue for someone at Apple. Two years ago, Apple went head-to-head with the FBI over privacy issues. The FBI wanted Apple to give them the data in an iPhone that had belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple refused to hand over the data to the FBI, because of their belief in the right to privacy.

Is this a new divide that big tech brands want to fight over? 


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