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  • Apple's Tim Cook Delivers a Blistering Speech on Public and Private Data Collection


    At the beginning of this week, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, delivered an impassioned speech at the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Champions of Freedom event. His speech centered on public and private sector data collection, focusing on his stance that consumers need data privacy, strong security and the right to encryption. Cook said the following regarding the matter:

    Like many of you, we at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security. We can, and we must provide both in equal measure. We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demands it, the Constitution demands it, morality demands it.
    His speech aligns with his stance opposing the public and private data collection efforts, which were a position that was made clear during an interview with Charlie Rose last year. Cook reasserted the need for consumer privacy and adequate data encryption in an open letter stating his company doesn’t trade in customer information. He continued by stating the following:

    I'm speaking to you from Silicon Valley, where some of the most prominent and successful companies have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information. They're gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that's wrong. And it's not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.
    He took the opportunity to call out Google’s new Google Photos service, which is reportedly free to use but comes with provisions that ultimately turn customer data into a form of currency. When discussing the service, he mentioned the following:

    You might like these so-called free services, but we don't think they're worth having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for God knows what advertising purpose. And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is.
    Cook continued by stating that the average consumer may not comprehend the implications of giving up their personal data but believes that “one day they will, and will be very offended.” He continued by criticizing the government initiatives that would have services build security backdoors into existing encryption technologies like protections offered by the iOS platform. Cook compared the technique as being similar to that of hiding a key under your doormat; it’s available to authorities if necessary but burglars can find it too.

    Source: Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) via TechCrunch
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple's Tim Cook Delivers a Blistering Speech on Public and Private Data Collection started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      What about the data on how much tax they are avoiding? Oh sorry, yes. Privacy means we’ll never know and neither will the taxman.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Someone should tell Tim that his iOS platform records every location you've been to and everything you've ever said to Siri....and sends all that data back to Apple for "safe keeping".
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      Someone should tell Tim that his iOS platform records every location you've been to and everything you've ever said to Siri....and sends all that data back to Apple for "safe keeping".
      Unlike many platforms, though, there’s a switch to turn that off.
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Not as simple as that. If they were really interested in our privacy as opposed to our monetisation they would make it so that all of that rubbish defaults to off. You’d then have like a single place to go to make adjustments.

      That said, I think I’d let them off the hook here, (but not completely), as I’m sure the T’s & C’s tell us all about IF we actually took the time and chose to read them.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      If Cook is that passionate about user privacy, then explain how is Apple able to sell in China?
      How is Apple able to protecting customer information even though Chinese government specifically require there must be a backdoor built in for Chinese government to get into the phone?
      Yeah just what I thought...
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      If Cook is that passionate about user privacy, then explain how is Apple able to sell in China?
      How is Apple able to protecting customer information even though Chinese government specifically require there must be a backdoor built in for Chinese government to get into the phone?
      Yeah just what I thought...
      Is that currently in effect? I thought that hadn’t actually been enforced yet.
    1. StuG III's Avatar
      StuG III -
      That's a good point unison999...