Fusion reported on how Apple’s new medical research platform was born.
“No one wants to entrust their health data to a company that’s going to sell them to the highest bidder, and the highest bidders usually include the worst privacy abusers. Apple has taken a very principled stance,” Munos added. “It’s the kind of reassurance people need.”
Apple’s privacy record is far from spotless, but its approach is different from that of Google or Facebook, both of which make money by selling access to their users to advertisers. Apple is a hardware manufacturer—it sells gadgets, not targeted ads—and that hardware focus is at the heart of why Friend, who’s been trying to build something like ResearchKit for years, chose to work with Apple rather than a competitor.
Companies like Google and Facebook “make their power by selling data…They get people information about other people,” Friend told me. “Apple has said, ‘We will not look at this data.’ Could you imagine Google saying that?”
It is a leverage that Google and Facebook can never have.