Apple directors say privacy management and public relations can coexist

News Summary:

  • Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, said at The Wall Street Journal’s annual Tech Live conference that the iPhone maker is uncertain about the short-term impact of new requirements it introduced last year that require third-party apps to seek permission from users to track their digital footprints.

  • Apple Inc.’s software leader said advertising and privacy can coexist as iPhone changes introduced more than a year ago continue to disrupt the digital ad market.

“In the long term, we thought that quality advertising and product privacy could coexist, that there would be innovation, partly from us, partly from others,” Federighi said. “But that journey had not yet begun. It was what we wanted for ourselves and our friends and our family, we thought … people should have that level of control.”

The power Apple has over its digital users has come under fire in recent years, especially from third-party app makers unhappy with the power Apple has over the iPhone ecosystem through the App Store and the money Apple collects from digital revenue.

Many users rejected the requests of those apps, leading to lost business in the digital-advertising industry, from Facebook of Meta Platforms Inc. to Snap Inc.

One response to Silicon Valley’s rise is legislation in the European Union to curb the power of large technology companies. Those efforts include legislation that received final approval this week to require electronic devices to have a USB-C port starting in 2024, a measure that stems from frustration over incompatible smartphone chargers and a desire to curb waste among users with multiple cords.

“Obviously we will have to comply with that,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said Tuesday night. He was on stage with Federighi for the event.

Apple’s iPhones do not use USB-C charging ports that are already widespread among some computer manufacturers and competing Android phones. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant opposed the measure, saying it would hurt innovation.