The Trust Feature: Apple is Setting the Standard for Consumer IoT Data

The most interesting thing that I took away from the last two Apple product announcements had nothing to do with the iPhone 6 or Apple Watch. Rather, it was the clear and concise messaging that consumers own the data they input into Apple Pay and Health products, and that the data is secure. Apple is marketing “trust” as a feature for its products which, in order to function, require that consumers provide personal data. The “trust feature” has been seamlessly weaved into the fabric of Apple Pay and Health product messaging. The function of Apple Pay and Health are described on

“With Apple Pay, instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers when you add your card, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored in the Secure Element, a dedicated chip in iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. These numbers are never stored on Apple servers. And when you make a purchase, the Device Account Number, along with a transaction-specific dynamic security code, is used to process your payment. So your actual credit or debit card numbers are never shared by Apple with merchants or transmitted with payment.

The Health app lets you keep all your health and fitness information in one place on your device and under your control. The information you generate about yourself is yours to use and share. You decide what information is placed in Health and which apps can access your data through the Health app. When your phone is locked with a passcode or Touch ID, all of your health and fitness data in the Health app is encrypted. You can back up data stored in the Health app to iCloud, where it is encrypted while in transit and at rest. Apps that access HealthKit are required to have a privacy policy, so be sure to review these policies before providing apps with access to your health and fitness data.”


For decades Apple has been supplying consumers with hardware and marketing its devices as the best in design, technology and craftsmanship. They help the consumer understand their commitment to delivering exceptional products by detailing the effort it took for them to make the smartphone camera resolution better, the processor faster and display brighter.  But now Apple is focusing its marketing on the “trust feature” and emphasizing that:

  • You own your data

  • You select who has access to your data

  • Your data is stored and secured in isolation  

  • Unnecessary access to your data is not permitted

  • When your data is moved, stored or used, it is encrypted at all times  

Apple understands that in order to continue its dominance as we move into the Intelligence Age, they have to deliver more than hardware.  But the hardware is still a key piece to the puzzle. If consumers allow Apple to use their data and Apple enables its hardware to communicate with other Apple and non-Apple hardware, it can deliver an overall personalized experience by using the data consumers supply to provide a service that is specific to each consumer’s need.  For example, your Apple devices are connected to your car, and you are driving on a long road trip on the highway. Your Apple devices receive a notification from your car that you are low on gas, and your Apple devices  ask you whether you would like directions to the nearest gas station which is 2 miles away. They also notify you that the next gas station after that one is 25 miles away. You tap ‘yes’ -- you would like directions to the nearest gas station.  The map app then provides detailed directions to the closest gas station.

By establishing the ‘trust feature’ with consumers Apple can deliver superior experiences like the gas station example that combine Apple hardware and consumer data to predict that the consumer will need next. 

If Apple is successful with making consumers comfortable with providing financial and health-related data leveraging the “trust feature” in Apple Pay and Health, consumers will have no problem with providing access to their home (Homekit) and car (CarPlay) data.