Apple’s new privacy ad is definitely going to annoy Facebook and Google

Andy Meek

“Privacy matters,” Apple declares in the opening frame of its just-released new iPhone ad, continuing the same marketing push that also led to the billboard Apple showed off at CES earlier this year — the sign that promised passersby “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

It was a subtle dig at companies like Facebook and Google, which are likewise probably going to be annoyed at this new ad from the iPhone maker that’s presented with a somewhat lighthearted touch — via slammed doors that display “Keep out” signs, for example, as well as curtains and window locks. We also see a quick successions of signs at the beginning that declare “No trespassing” and “Private property.” But the message is clear. “If privacy matters in your life,” the ad notes at one point, “it should matter to the phone your life is on.”

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Is that a shot at companies like Facebook that have been dogged by wave after wave of privacy scandals? Maybe. Okay, probably. Someone out there will, rightfully, point out that Apple recently dealt with a privacy-related snafu of its own, involving a pretty bad FaceTime bug that could have let users secretly listen in on calls. Apple, of course, would tell you it was an inadvertent error that was quickly patched — while you can point to a slew of revelations to come out of, say, Facebook that are definitely not mistakes on their part (See this post we wrote just last week on the discovery of how the social network uses phone numbers that its users provide as a security measure).

In text that accompanies the ad that Apple just posted to YouTube, the company promises that “From encrypting your iMessage conversations, or not keeping a history of your routes in Maps, to limiting tracking across sites with Safari. iPhone is designed to protect your information.” And then users are directed to the special page Apple created to show how iPhone protects user privacy.

The ad bills itself as an iPhone commercial, though we don’t actually see the device until the closing frames. At the end, an animation is shown of a lock snapping into place on top of Apple’s familiar logo.

You can see the ad in full below:


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