Apple, Google lead privacy the way telcos should do, but aren’t

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Apple and Google continue to build their brand as the one you can best trust to protect your privacy, while telcos continue to lag on privacy leadership.

While all eyes were firmly on what Apple is doing in your home this week, some will have missed other news of arguably more importance: both Apple and Google have made announcements that will protect customers from those annoying pop-up, in-your-face, auto-play-while-scrolling adverts.

We have said for a while now that trust is fast becoming a key brand differentiatior, and that telcos have an opportunity to lead the charge as chief privacy advocate and champion as a way of keeping customers loyal. Yet once again it’s the likes of Apple and Google who are capturing hearts and minds by building their brand as the one you can best trust to protect your privacy.

According to Business Intelligence:

Google’s Chrome browser will automatically block certain ads starting next year. The new feature will filter out ads that have been deemed unacceptable by the Coalition for Better Ads.

Meanwhile at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference this week, in between the bragging game with HomePod vs Alexa, there was the other bragging game that High Sierra will make Safari faster than a Ferrari and twice as safe.

According to Futurism:

Safari will also be able to block all autoplays on videos, and it will have “intelligent tracking prevention,” which is machine learning tech that allows it to identify trackers and, thus, protect your privacy.

This is clearly good news for customers, and probably bad news for entities such as Facebook, who relies on annoying adverts for over 95% of its income. In fact, Facebook seems to be trundling from social network to commercial network to anti-social network at tremendous speed.

Privacy is something that can be addressed reasonably easily, and both Apple and Google have grasped the opportunity, understanding that customers put a value on their privacy, which these companies are now turning into loyalty – at a cost, obviously, but probably only a short-term one.

This is exactly what telcos should be doing – and they should be doing it in a way that shows they thought of it first and aren’t simply doing it to play “me too” with companies who cared enough to take the initiative on their own.

To be sure, a few telcos are doing just that. But most aren’t.

The companion issue to privacy is, of course, security. And the question is now whether telcos can take the lead on this one, or the Apples, Googles and Amazons will once again beat them to the bell.

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