During a sit-down with the German tabloid, BILD, earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook was nostalgic about his relationship with Steve Jobs, reiterated the company’s commitment to its customers’ privacy and discussed the Cupertino California company’s ability to influence social change.

Cook told BILD’s Sven Stone and Nick Star that Steve Jobs was “by far the best teacher I ever had,” stating that Jobs taught him to ignore sales goals or awards and simply take pleasure in building great products. He continued by worrying that Jobs’ outsized personality did overshadow some of his other qualities, vowing that he would not let the Apple co-founder be forgotten. Cook even went as far as sharing the following regarding Jobs:

His office is still there, with his name on it. And it will always be there as long as I'm here.
When the hot topic of personal privacy surfaced, Cook took a stance distancing Apple from companies such as Facebook and Google, both of which depend on collecting user data for their advertising-based businesses to thrive. He claimed that Apple only asks for customer information when it can be help improve their products. He did clarify that customers do have the right to withhold information whenever they wish to. One move that Cook made that many probably found surprising was him praising NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, whose insight of widespread government surveillance has caused major problems for several US tech companies, including Apple. Cook claimed the following regarding the matter:

If Snowden accomplished anything for us, then it was to get us to talk more about these things. Our values were always the same.
The next topic that was brought up was the company’s more recent open attitude toward working conditions in its supply chain. Cook expressed his belief that Apple can leverage its size to play a major role as a social leader. He mentioned the following regarding this topic:

We are working on our social responsibility. In the past, we just kept everything secret. But as Apple grew larger, we realized that we can actually change something more in the world, if we are extremely transparent in social issues such as privacy, security, education and environmental protection.
Cook did clarify that the openness hasn’t changed the company’s silence on future products. He even went as far as stating that he hard heard rumors on the Apple Car but cannot comment on the topic at all.

Source BILD via AppleInsider