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Respecting Data: How Apple is Making Privacy Cool


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    Conventional wisdom has long held that privacy is dead in the digital age. Users, it was believed, were willing to trade their personal information for free and targeted experiences. However, recent developments in the tech industry, particularly with Apple and Google, are challenging this notion. Privacy is not only alive but is quickly becoming a key capability upon which these tech giants are competing.

    Apple's recent announcement of new AI products for the iPhone came with a significant subtitle: "Setting a new standard in privacy." As noted by Tomasz Tunguz on LinkedIn, the marketing statement by Apple indicates a fundamental shift in the competitive dynamics and user preferences surrounding privacy in the age of cloud computing and AI everything. 

    Apple's messaging on privacy is becoming more prominent because they believe they do it better than anyone — which gives them a competitive advantage. Apple is very clearly telling the market that their data is valuable — and therefore they should demand cloud and AI services that respect the sovereignty of data.  With Apple's massive distribution and equally massive marketing budget, this privacy message is certain to further influence consumer and enterprise purchasing preferences.

    Enterprises are already pushing for greater control over their data — adopting granular policy and data-centric security capabilities made possible by open standards like Trusted Data Format (TDF) and embracing virtual private clouds combined with open data formats like Iceberg to run AI models in their own environments. These types of cloud-prem architectures allow businesses to embrace all the benefits of cloud computing and AI without sacrificing control and ownership of their intellectual property and sensitive data.

    As the broader market realizes the immense value of data, both users who provide it, and businesses who leverage it, are beginning to respect data like never before.  These changing attitudes are creating a demand for new software products and innovative architectures.  Buoyed by this rising tide, Virtru is experiencing growing demand for its data-centric security products which enable granular policy and access controls and separation of trust so that customers can embrace the benefits of cloud and AI workflows — without giving up control of their data.

    While debates may arise about the true privacy of these architectures, such as Apple's use of secure enclaves and SGXs, OpenAI's promise not to log queries from Apple users, and users opting-in to send their data to OpenAI, the focus on privacy is undeniable. Even Google may be considering rearchitecting Gemini to power Apple products with enhanced privacy features.

    In conclusion, the rise of privacy as a key selling point for cloud and AI products marks a significant shift in the tech industry. As Apple and others compete on this front, it is clear that privacy is far from dead. Instead, it is becoming a crucial factor in shaping the future of cloud computing, AI, and the software landscape as a whole.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    Matt Howard

    Matt Howard

    A proven executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years experience developing high-growth software companies, Matt serves as Virtu’s CMO and leads all aspects of the company’s go-to-market motion within the data protection and Zero Trust security ecosystems.

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