Apple Surveillance

Never trust proprietary systems, especially when they say “trust me.”


Just had a chance to watch it. That’s definitely a point of escalation.

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Always some concerns when a competitor (whether or not a serious competitor) has opinions about a company.

The idea that there’s any real privacy from any of the major nations is kind of amusing.

Some specific comments:

  • Airtags: He doesn’t have one, he doesn’t know what it’s actually transmitting. He’s not wrong about how the data is collected, but this is the same way any of the small device tracking systems work (Tile etc.) Admittedly Apple is doing it on a grander scale than most.
  • Apple’s “mesh network” about everyone’s location being instantly available…if you’ve got a cell phone, the government can find you, or at least your cell phone.
  • “Slave network” really? Just inflamatory words for inflamatory word’s sake.
  • Inability to turn off “Find My” that may be the case, but I’d actually like to see some proof on his statements.
  • You turn off “Find My” on the device you’re returning if you haven’t wiped it. His information is incorrect, at least as of a year ago when I last bought/upgraded a phone.
  • iPhones as a worldwide web of Spycams…not impossible, but really, there are much more effiecient ways of looking for people. Like the existing infrastructure cameras in many large cities. Also, there’s not really much financial gain for Apple to do this. There’s much better means of making money than tracking some rando.
  • GIANT Logical leap between BLE and iPhones are the most sophisticated spy machines ever made. With no evidence that what he’s suggesting is happening, or is even likely to happen. Again, where’s the money in this for Apple? They care much more about getting you to buy things than who’s bed you slept in or what regieme toppling journalist you’re talking to.
  • Client side scanning…well. that’s not what that is AT ALL. AT least not as I understand it.
  • Comparing the iPhone’s ability to “scan” its environment with what a Tesla is doing is a bit silly, considering the massive amount of sensory data a Tesla is taking in for it’s Autopilot.
  • The idea that Apple can find a person anywhere in the world even if that person doesn’t have an iPhone really isn’t supported by the data. Besides, Facebook is more likely to be able to do that than Apple.

So I think it’s important to understand what technology has what abilities, and it’s important to know how to live at your personal comfort level with regards to privacy. Each person has to do their own analysis and should make informed decisions about their privacy, and I fully believe you should be able to stop companies from tracking you at the level that they do.

At the same time it’s important to make fact based decsions, and recognize people that are selling fear. IMO this particular YouTuber is just selling fear, he’s selling a VPN service (one I’ve never heard of or seen rated by an outside party) he’s directly competing with Apple in the cell phone sales space, so he imediately suspect. (TBF I should also be suspect since I’m just some random froody dude on the internet, you shouldn’t trust me just because my name is Zaphod Beeblebrox :wink: ) I get that Apple is aboslutely collecting tons of data about people, but the idea that they’re doing it at a scale beyond others is not correct. As I said, Facebook has many more hooks into non-users, they know what you look like, and where you are, and who your friends are and how many kids you have, even if you don’t have an account with them. Also Facebook knows what your kids look like. (Thanks Grandma!!)

Full disclosure: I am an iPhone user and I fully believe that Zuck is a Lizard person sent to hasten the extinction of the human race. (ok…not “fully”, just mostly)


It reminds me of this video.

You challenged me and you’re right, it’s surprising how easily I forget the state of affairs. This was happening already and a good example is in-store analytics which read for customer MACs associated with their bluetooth/wifi beacons and connectable to identities at checkout. Customers becoming the beacon scanners is a decent paradigm shift though.

BUT… like you said everyone has a cellphone anyway and even if someone goes through the prohibitive process of getting an anonymous phone their geolocation habits (as tracked by towers) give it away anyway because we all go home at night.

As a test I Googled “slave network” and the results were almost exclusively tech related. I think he was using the more common meaning which is a device that controls one or more devices. In this case Apple’s networks controlling customer phones for purposes not necessarily related to their owner.

This reminded me of a chat I was having yesterday where someone said, “in other terms, using this method you cannot silently kill a child.”. Outside of context it would definitely be an alarming thing to say. :stuck_out_tongue:


I didn’t find this video hyperbolic and yet I think you’re right again.

My perspective when I watch this kind of content is gauging things against potential for turnkey-tyranny and not what they’re actually doing right now. From a perspective of turnkey-tyranny I think it’s reasonable to call iPhones the ultimate spy device but in the here-and-now it’s mostly hyperbole and doing that kind of future guessing definitely has it’s perils including crying wolf so it’s very worth considering.

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This is a fair point, master/slave is a pretty common term, i generally use parent/child or controller/worker.

My biggest issue is with the framing of the video. It comes across as Apple being an evil villain corporation who’s out to take over the world.

Now I’m not saying Apple isn’t an evil villain corporation, just that they’re not the only one.

Nothing he demonstrated is exclusive to Apple. Android devices do exactly the same kinds of data collection and have the same or similar features.

I fully believe he’s wildly overplaying the perils of BLE and it’s not to get people thinking, but rather, it’s to scare people and then sell them something to placate that fear.

Again, I’m not arguing that Apple has the consumers best interests in mind, or that they’re not a giant money hungry corporation. I’m just arguing that selling fear isn’t a healthy way to have a good conversation on the very real privacy risks in the world today.

See the EARN IT act the US is currently trying to shove through congress.

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