Andy Greenberg reports:
Apple, like practically every mega-corporation, wants to know as much as possible about its customers. But it’s also marketed itself as Silicon Valley’s privacy champion, one that—unlike so many of its advertising-driven competitors—wants to know as little as possible about you. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the company has now publicly boasted about its work in an obscure branch of mathematics that deals with exactly that paradox.
At the keynote address of Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference in San Francisco on Monday, the company’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi gave his familiar nod to privacy, emphasizing that Apple doesn’t assemble user profiles, does end-to-end encrypt iMessage and Facetime and tries to keep as much computation as possible that involves your private information on your personal device rather than on an Apple server. But Federighi also acknowledged the growing reality that collecting user information is crucial to making good software, especially in an age of big data analysis and machine learning. The answer, he suggested rather cryptically, is “differential privacy.”
Read more on Wired.