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Apple wants to know your exact bank account balance. Here's why

Apple has always maintained that it is not in the business of selling customer data to advertising and marketing companies. But its new patent says otherwise.

The patent was filed last week and it's based around a new e-commerce system that uses Apple iPhones to deliver ads to users based on what they can actually afford, using information gathered about the customer's behaviors and banking habits.

The patent says, "[T]he delivery element is arranged such that the content item [ad] delivered to the user includes only one or more objects having a purchase price less than or equal to the available credit for that user."

That means the system can view the amount of credit available in your bank account or guess it using complicated algorithms and present you with advertisements that you can actually afford.

The patent continued, "... An advantage of such targeted advertising is that advertisements for goods and services which particular users cannot afford, are not delivered to these users."

Apple's CEO Tim Cook publicly denounced companies that gather information on customers and sell it to advertisers, claiming his company would never do that. The recent patent seems to contradict that thought process.

"Our business is not based on having information about you. You’re not our product. ... if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried," Cook told Charlie Rose in an interview last year.

What do you think about this new Apple invention? Is it a major invasion of privacy or is it going to be the next big thing? Let me know by commenting below.

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