Differential Privacy

A closer look at Differential Privacy in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

Making Apple services even smarter and more personalized entails processing troves of information because intelligence is driven by big data. The fact that iOS 9’s proactive features don’t tap into the cloud has served Apple well thus far. But since Google Assistant came to light, people have been wondering if Apple can compete without resorting to raw data collection Google is infamous for.

iOS 10 and macOS Sierra represent Apple’s refined approach to privacy, which revolves around new techniques collectively known as Differential Privacy. An en vogue statistical method, Differential Privacy helps Apple deliver smarter services without compromising privacy of their users.

It’s a relatively unproven technique with lots of potential which hasn’t been used to boost Apple’s services before iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. Here’s a closer look at Differential Privacy, how it powers intelligence and proactiveness and why it should serve Apple better than Google’s bulk data collection and analysis.

Apple confirms its new Differential Privacy feature will be opt-in only

iOS 10 and macOS Sierra tap into an interesting technology, called Differential Privacy, which makes possible data collection from a large number of users without compromising individual user’s security and privacy. Re/code has now learned from Apple that Differential Privacy will be opt-in only, meaning privacy-minded folks won’t be required to use the feature unless they specifically want to.

Bottom line: Apple won’t collect your data to make its services a lot smarter unless you specifically let it.