“As a consumer, the idea of Apple sign-in is genuinely an exciting one…” writes developer/tech journalist Owen Williams at Char.gd.
“As a person in digital marketing, as well as a coder and startup founder, the feature terrifies me… I don’t have a choice. Apple plans to force developers using third-party signin features to add its signin along any competing ones, rather than allowing them to make the choice. Essentially, Apple will force its success…”
[B]y selling the tool as a privacy-focused feature, the company is building a new identity system that it owns entirely. Because it is a powerful privacy feature, it makes it hard to debate this move in any constructive way — personally, I think we need more tools like this, just not from the very platforms further entrenching their own kingdoms… All of the largest tech companies have switched gears to this model, including Google, and now sell a narrative that nobody can be trusted with your data — but it’s fine to give it all to them, instead. There’s bitter irony in Apple denouncing other companies’ collection of data with a sign-in service, then launching its own, asking that you give that data to them, instead. I definitely trust Apple to act with my interests at heart today, but what about tomorrow, when the bottom falls out of iPhone sales, and the math changes?
I’m not arguing that any of these advertising practices are right or wrong, but rather that such a hamfisted approach isn’t all that it seems. The ad industry gets a bad rap — and does need to improve — but allowing a company that has a vested interest in crippling it to dictate the rules by forcing developers to implement their technology is wrong…
This feature, and the way it’s being forced on developers, is a fantastic example of why companies like Apple and Google should be broken up: it’s clearly using the App Store, and its reach, to force the industry’s hand in its favor — rather than compete on merit.