How Apple has a competitive advantage over Google, Facebook

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Analysts claim Apple is poised to take the lead among other tech companies when it comes to protecting people's data, according to Markets Insider.

Because Apple's business model targets hardware rather than internet and software, it bypasses much of the European Union's strict new data protection laws known as General Data Protection Regulation that go into effect in May.

Internet and software companies, like Facebook and Google, rely on advertising dollars for revenue, and the EU's new law will limit  the kinds of data these companies can mine and use in their marketing efforts. A Deutsche Bank analyst said gaining compliance with the law could wipe $2 billion from Google's revenues, according to Markets Insider.

Apple's privacy policy restricts users' data from being shared with third parties for marketing and could be the company's biggest "competitive advantage," UBS analyst Steven Milunovich wrote in a note to clients, according to Markets Insider.

"Although Apple sometimes speaks of privacy on moral grounds — Tim Cook says 'privacy is a fundamental human right '— its business model makes emphasizing privacy easier than for Google or Facebook," Mr. Milunovich wrote.

Apple's philosophy on data privacy and ownership could make it the ideal hardware for consumers to track their health data, Mr. Milunovich added. It already has a number of projects underway, including an Apple Heart Study via its Apple Watch and the HealthKit app on iPhones lets users store their data on their devices.

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