For many years, tech geeks have descended on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show or CES as it’s more popularly known. Each year we know that Android device makers will be at CES in droves, but the one company that has traditionally eschewed CES each year is Apple. It’s a strange decision for one of the most popular smartphone makers in the world to skip one of the biggest electronics conventions in the world, but Apple creates buzz with its own device events each year rather than fight over the CES noise with the masses.
With that in mind, Apple sort of has a presence at CES this year. Cupertino doesn’t have a booth, it has no backroom office or hotel suite; instead, Apple has a display a giant billboard on the side of a hotel. The billboard (seen above) reads “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” It’s a play on the old Las Vegas city motto “What happens here, stays here.”
Apple is using the billboard to tout the work it is doing for privacy in the face of significant privacy issues and concerns over the last year. The Android ecosystem has a significant problem with malware on the Google Play store because the apps aren’t checked to ensure that malicious software isn’t hidden inside prior to being offered for download to Android users. Apple forces all apps to go through a vetting process before they are allowed onto the App Store. That process has led many people to complain about how closed the iOS ecosystem is, but it has also meant that malicious apps and security issues are far less common for iOS users than Android users (although it’s still possible for malware to slip through on occasion). Google pulled 22 apps from the Google Play store just last month that were malicious and had racked up over 2 million total downloads.
It’s not like iOS users don’t have to worry about their privacy at all; there are still apps sharing personal data, like Facebook, on iOS. Apple CEO Tim Cook has slammed Facebook in the past for its privacy saying that privacy is a human right. Last year, Facebook did unveil a tool to allow users to clear their history and give more control over privacy. Apple also revamped its privacy page allowing U.S. customers to download all the data it has collected about them. Apple’s iOS ecosystem may not be 100% secure, but when it comes to malicious apps and access to privacy controls, many see it as better than Android.