Apple TV+ is best choice for privacy, report finds
Apple’s TV+ video-streaming subscription service has been heavily criticised since its launch almost two years ago, not least because it offers far fewer movies and TV shows than rivals such as Netflix and Disney+. But a new report has found one area in which TV+ leads the field.
Privacy Of Streaming Apps And Devices: Watching TV That Watches Us, a report from Common Sense Media, finds that Apple TV+ beats most of its competitors to the punch if you focus on privacy.
Apple’s service receives an overall Pass mark for protecting users’ data, and a rating of 79%, on the basis that “Apple says they don’t sell users’ data to third parties, don’t display targeted advertisements, and don’t track users on other apps and services across the internet.”
A score of 79% and a Pass might not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it’s the best combined performance of all the services evaluated. The other nine all received a rating of Warning rather than Pass, and eight were given far lower numerical scores, ranging from 68% (Disney+) down to 46% (Netflix).
The only service to get a (slightly) higher numerical score was YouTube TV, which was rated 81%. But the report authors made it clear that this was down to greater transparency, rather than better policies – indeed they said that YouTube’s policies are actually worse.
“YouTube TV received the highest overall numerical score, even with an orange Warning rating,” the authors explained, “because Google TV had a more transparent policy despite engaging in some worse privacy practices.”
Specifically, YouTube TV answered a Yes to questions about the use of targeted ads, third-party tracking, user tracking and ad profiles, all of which were a No for Apple TV+.
Here are overall ratings for the ten services. The ranking is as presented in the report; as you’ll see, it doesn’t quite follow strict numerical order, presumably to give due credit to Apple’s Pass rating.
- Apple TV+: 79% (Pass)
- YouTube TV: 81% (Warning)
- Disney+: 68% (Warning)
- Paramount+: 65% (Warning)
- HBO Max: 63% (Warning)
- Peacock: 59% (Warning)
- Amazon Prime Video: 57% (Warning)
- Discovery+: 54% (Warning)
- Hulu: 53% (Warning)
- Netflix: 46% (Warning)
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation and additional reporting by David Price.