Apple Burns Google, Amazon with This Massive Ad Overlooking CES

Apple Privacy Ad Credit: The Verge
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Apple threw some not-so-subtle shade at its less privacy-conscious competitors ahead of the largest tech conference of the year.

The Consumer Electronics Show 2019 is slated to kick off on Jan. 8 in Las Vegas. Apple doesn’t really attend CES in any official capacity, but that didn’t stop it from making its presence felt at the tech industry’s largest consumer trade show this year.

Apple plastered a large advertisement, about 13 floors high, on the side of the Marriott hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Convention Center where CES ’19 will take place, CNBC reported.

“What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone,” the message reads, showing off an outline of an iPhone and referring users to Apple’s privacy web page.

Apple Ad
Bloomberg

What Does It Mean?

It’s an obvious nod to the famous Las Vegas slogan and a pretty apparent dig at companies like Google and Amazon, both slated to show off various devices at the conference. The message is pretty clear-cut.

While Google and Amazon collect data from its customers and use it for monetization purposes, Apple does not — and it isn’t afraid to boast about that fact.

Amusingly, the massive advertisement is also positioned next to the Las Vegas monorail system. The monorail shuttles are currently clad in Google ad copy promoting Google Assistant.

Apple’s Stance on Privacy

Apple has long been a vanguard for consumer privacy, at least compared to firms like Google or Facebook. Its pro-privacy policy famously peaked in a dustup with the FBI over unlocking an iPhone belonging to one of the gunmen in the 2015 San Bernardino shooting.

“Privacy to us is a human right. It’s a civil liberty,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said back in June 2018, amidst the Cambridge Analytica Facebook data scandal.

Cook has even gone so far as to advocate for full-fledged consumer data privacy protections at the federal level. That’s more than can be said for executives of other prominent technology firms.

Mostly, that’s because Apple makes money from selling devices to its customers and charging for its various services. That’s unlike the business models of Google or Facebook, who monetize user data by way of targeted advertising, or Amazon, who just wants to sell users more stuff.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether Apple can keep that stance as it shifts to a Services-based business. But until then, it can use its privacy advocacy to troll its biggest competitors.

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