Interview with the person in charge of Meizu Flyme: Apple and Google are top students in privacy protection, and Flyme will catch up

In the past few years, the major version updates of Android and iOS can be described as turbulent. Key words such as flattening or Material Design can always trigger protracted discussions. Now, the upgrade of the mobile phone operating system is more like still water, and the upgrade will be better. It seems to be fine without upgrading.

As for the domestic Android customization system, it has also entered the stage of fine decoration from the stage of building a building, focusing on solving the details of aesthetics and humanization.

But unlike the reality of building a house, anti-theft is a prerequisite for building a house, rather than the primary task of the mobile phone operating system. Privacy and security protection have not been placed in the primary position of system updates for a long time. But the good news is that this issue is finally being taken seriously.

The upcoming update of Flyme 9 will focus on the privacy and security protection of the mobile phone system, and Meizu will also make privacy and security one of the company’s strategies at the company level. Before the Flyme 9 and Meizu 18 series mobile phone conferences, Ai Faner I also interviewed the person in charge of Meizu Flyme and discussed this quiet but influential update.

iOS is to tighten the permissions first, then let go, Android is the other way around

There have always been claims that Android is inferior to iOS in terms of privacy and security protection. This statement has made some iOS users feel superior, and Android users seem to have defaulted.

Regarding this statement, many people will discuss it from the perspective of openness and closedness. Because Android is open and open source, it also brings privacy and security issues while bringing convenience. He has participated in the research and development of Meizu M8. Almost all his professional time in Meizu can be said to be dealing with Android. He has another level of view:

I think this (open and closed) is part of the reason, but not the whole reason.

Throughout the past decade or so, I think it may be that Android and Apple have different strategies, paces, and routes.

Apple is more of a company that prioritizes user experience. Their strategy is that I tighten it first, and then when I am ready, I will open up capabilities to third parties so that third parties can use these things to enrich some functions. user.

For Android and Google, relatively speaking, it is a more technology-first company. Their route is to let go first, and if there is a problem, I will tighten it. They may be thinking about what will users or developers get after I let go?

Apple not only thinks about this thing, I think Apple thinks more: If I let go, what might Apple lose? Or what could the user lose? Inconsistent ideas will cause them to have different strategies, paces, and routes, but I think they always get the same result by different routes. Whether Apple or Android, we finally reach a stage and a certain time, we will solve these problems.

▲ Android 12 adds strong prompts for permission calls

So this also explains why in the recent iOS and Android versions, the two parties’ attitudes towards privacy and security have become surprisingly consistent. For example, Android 12, which is still in the developer preview version, will have various prompts to feedback which applications are calling the microphone and positioning. And camera permissions, which happens to be an important new feature of iOS 14.

But the matter is not as simple as what is the difference between iOS and Android. I think in detail that the real crux of the matter should be "the difference between the domestic application ecology and the foreign application ecology", because both Apple and Google, as platforms, can lead the system application specifications. , Implement effective management, for example, last year Google removed more than 50 Chinese developers’ overseas applications. However, as the world’s largest smartphone production and consumption market, there is no effective platform to regulate the application ecology. The booming market, fierce competition, and lack of management will inevitably allow third-party application vendors to grab mobile phones without strong restraint. Permissions and user data.

Regarding domestic discussions, on the issue of who cares more about privacy and who is more secure on iOS and Android, he gave a detailed point of view:

It is not entirely technical, it is an ecological problem. If you must talk about the root cause, you must talk about openness and open source, you can think of it as a double-edged sword, but in fact, Google and Android have made due efforts.

▲ The founder of Facebook, who has the most user data, covered the computer camera with tape

Many people have not really realized the dangers of leaking privacy

Regarding the issue of privacy protection, Aifaner has actually discussed a lot in the past, but one phenomenon we have observed is that users are not so active in protecting their privacy. In other words, many people have not realized the importance of privacy before the real problems caused by privacy leakage.

▲ Some previous privacy and security protection features of Flyme

This is a status quo that deserves careful consideration with the Flyme team, because once it is recognized that mobile phone privacy and security is an ecological issue, not a technical issue, then all participants in the ecosystem are related. Therefore, Flyme not only needs to make changes in its own products, but also needs to work hard to change users' perceptions.

In fact, I am also a user who is not clear about the dangers of privacy leakage. In this interview, Zhou Xiang also spent a lot of time telling me about the harm caused by privacy leakage:

After the personal information is leaked, the scammer will call you, and then he will throw out some details that are consistent with your current real identity information, thereby defrauding trust, and after gaining this trust, the ease of implementing fraud is greatly improved. Understand. It is easier to be recruited by calling your parents in your hometown, fabricating the illusion of loss of connection in a car accident, and then using means such as "calling you to death" to block direct contact with your mobile phone. This has a high success rate for fraud.

The above is called fraud. Another is called harassment. What is harassment? I know your phone number, I know your hobbies. For example, home address, in which city do you live, I can actually promote sales through phone calls, such as real estate, intermediary, insurance, and loans, right? What does it have to do with privacy? Without getting your privacy in theory, I can still harass you. What is it actually? When he has some labels on you, he can become more precise in speaking skills and can directly hit your pain points. Each of your labels is a weakness when facing the salesman. He can use targeted words to market to you, which in a disguised way improves the efficiency of sales.

Improving efficiency is not the end. Since this trick is efficient and easy to use, I will use it more vigorously. In fact, the more accurate your portrait, the more harassment you will receive. People who don't have a tagged portrait will obviously be less harassed. So when we talk about personal information being leaked, many people will think that if you say it is leaked, you might actually know why you received harassing calls, but you don't know that you answer more than others.

In addition to fraud and harassment, there is also an addiction induction.

For children, his self-control and recognition ability are actually relatively poor. Therefore, in the case of accurate portraits, the platform will actually push the content to him according to its preferences. Okay, after he finishes one, he thinks that he can find something he is interested in next. In fact, he will keep reading and feel addicted. Because every time he refreshes, he will be like a reward. This is addiction.

But frankly speaking, children should experience more innocent and happy things instead of spending time refreshing these things. This is the first point. The second point is that children should be exposed to more variety and fresh things that are more conducive to their growth, instead of falling into the information cocoon.

Therefore, the harm of privacy and personal information leakage is tens of millions. I just cited three typical examples, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. A liar will always be smarter than you, and the beneficiary will always have more ways than you. If you don't understand or encounter it, it doesn't mean that these threats do not exist. Arousing the awareness of privacy protection is not only to protect oneself, but also to protect family and friends.

From a detailed point of view, privacy protection is not only a matter of ability, but also a matter of consciousness. The ability of Flyme can be supplemented by product technical means, but the consciousness of users needs to be aware of, and it also needs media such as Flyme and Aifaner. remind.

Before the Flyme 9 conference, Meizu also made an app called "Privacy Risk Self-Test Tool". It is not a function, but can it demonstrate which privacy may be obtained? How they are obtained, and the harm that may occur after privacy is obtained.

▲ Group photo of top students

If Apple and Google are top students in privacy protection, then Flyme also wants to catch up

Regarding the difference between domestic and foreign application ecology, Zhou made a vivid analogy:

Here I still want to make a metaphor between Apple and Android. It can also be regarded as a metaphor between foreign application ecology and domestic application ecology. I think that foreign countries are represented by Apple and Google, just like top students in the class, and their academic performance is also good. , Respects others, abides by rules and principles. Under the ecology they have accumulated in the past, they can implement privacy protection. In fact, it is not only privacy protection, but there are many places where they do well. At home, it’s a bit like other students in the class. There may be good grades or bad grades, but everyone has a goal. If you want to study well, you want to become the best student.

For Flyme, the Flyme 9 update this time is like a big exam. If you do well, then Flyme 9 can become a top student in privacy protection.

Although more information will be displayed at the press conference in a few days later, Zhou Xiang still spoiled Ai Faner some of Flyme 9's thoughts and practices on privacy protection.

The first is to let users have the right to know. In the past, users did not have the right to know, but it was troublesome to exercise the right to know, and the right to know was incomplete. On Flyme 9, users' right to know will be greatly enhanced:

The user knows this. Not only does he need to know whether the application has permission or no permission, in fact, he also needs to know when the application invokes these permissions, how much information or data is obtained through this permission, and it How often to call this permission.

In the past, Android may simply say yes or no, but it was not enough from an informed perspective. Now everyone can make up for this.

Zhou Xiang mentioned a lot about the hazards of personal information leakage, but sometimes privacy information and convenience are contradictory. If a person completely wants to hide personal information on the Internet, it will either cost high money and technical costs. Either it is difficult to move on the Internet, which is where many users feel powerless, because most users cannot solve this contradiction.

System providers with more technical resources can do a lot of work for users. According to a detailed introduction, Flyme 9 has a privacy protection principle called data minimization. Specifically:

For example, the frequency of the application calling the mobile phone permissions, as long as it can meet the needs of the application function, the lower the better, including the data it knows, the range of information, and the accuracy. These aspects are not used. It may be a question of not taking it, but a question of the degree of taking it. Before, everyone actually did some privacy-related protections in a rough and general way. Now, what we hope is to strengthen protection in a more detailed dimension based on the principles of user knowledge and data minimization just mentioned.

Of course, these changes all affect the whole body. For example, data minimization will inevitably involve application compatibility issues and user convenience issues.

For Flyme, these issues require a lot of effort or a decisive decision.

At the end of the interview, I asked Zhou Qiang: If I am a person who doesn't care about privacy and I want a more convenient experience, can Flyme give me an option to care about privacy?

So far, in the whole interview, I have been very kind, humble and thorough, and answered me with a rare and decisive tone:

No, no, this is a question of attitude, why do we provide an insecure system to users? As for convenience, you have to trust Flyme.

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