Privacy concerns behind Apple abandoning Meta partnership, report says

Speaking privately to Bloomberg, individuals familiar with the subject said negotiations for AI collaboration between the two tech giants fell through months ago.

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In recent days, the landscape of AI integration on Apple’s devices has become a topic of discussion. Initially, it was reported that a potential partnership could involve Apple’s cooperation with Meta’s AI services. However, ‘people with knowledge on the matter’ told Bloomberg this is not the case, explaining that Apple had explored a potential partnership in March of this year, before settling on OpenAI for part of the recently announced Apple Intelligence services. Reportedly, this partnership was abandoned due to Apple’s privacy concerns. Apple has repeatedly criticised Meta’s privacy practices, making a collaboration between the two tech giants potentially damaging to Apple’s image as a privacy-focussed company.

The timing of these discussions coincides with Meta facing privacy concerns over its new AI tools in the European Union. Despite this, Meta recently rolled out these same tools in India.

Earlier this month, Apple launched its own suite of AI features under the Apple Intelligence brand, including integration in Siri. Apple partnered with OpenAI to allow iPhone users to utilise ChatGPT for specific queries. The company says Siri will always ask for your permission before connecting to ChatGPT, and give you the choice to provide it with data, like a photo, if needed for your query. “From a privacy point of view, you’re always in control and have total transparency,” said Apple senior vice president Criag Federighi. That stance underpins Apple’s strategy as it demarcates itself in the world of AI integration, balancing innovation with its core principle of user privacy.

Apple is not depending exclusively on one AI provider though. At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), it announced its willingness to work with Google to integrate the Gemini AI model into its ecosystem. They have already partnered to train Apple’s AI. The extent of this integration remains to be seen, but it indicates Apple’s strategy of diversifying its AI partnerships.