Apple’s Privacy Czars

Intriguing report from Julia Love of Reuters:

Unlike Google, Amazon and Facebook, Apple is loathe to use customer data to deliver targeted advertising or personalized recommendations. Indeed, any collection of Apple customer data requires sign-off from a committee of three “privacy czars” and a top executive, according to four former employees who worked on a variety of products that went through privacy vetting.

Approval is anything but automatic: products including the Siri voice-command feature and the recently scaled-back iAd advertising network were restricted over privacy concerns, these people said.

As their competitors build even more capable personalized, anticipatory behaviour into their software, I’m curious to see how Apple is able to respond. They don’t need to match Google Now feature-to-feature, but will their stance on privacy put a damper on their capabilities? Or, from another perspective, are their competitors’ relatively cavalier approaches to sharing and retaining data a reasonable tradeoff for easier development of these kinds of services?