Tim Cook: there is no reason why you would have to choose between privacy and security

Apple CEO Tim Cook is on the final leg of his tour of Isreal and Europe and has been speaking to UK publication The Telegraph about a range of things including Apple customers’ privacy and of all things, terrorism.
Known for his unusual stance on privacy – one which doesn’t jive with other high profile tech executives who are happy to share everything about you – Cook told the publication during an interview that he feels people’s information is being “trafficked around” in ways that they just don’t yet understand.

“None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn't give it up. We shouldn't give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.”

“History has taught us that privacy breaches have resulted in very dire consequences. You don’t have to look back too far or be a historian to see these things. They are readily apparent.”

Inevitably talk turned to governments and their wish to have backdoors into systems owned by Apple such as iMessage. Cook says that such a thing would punish the good while the bad will be using their own encrypted systems anyway. Cook is quick to point out that terrorists should “be eliminated,” but presumably without the help of anything held on Apple’s servers.
You don’t want to eliminate everyone’s privacy. If you do, you not only don’t solve the terrorist issue but you also take away something that is a human right. The consequences of doing that are very significant.
Cook notes that terrorists are already encrypting their data, so forcing Apple to make its customers data available to the authorities would do nothing to protect the public.

“Terrorists will encrypt. They know what to do. If we don’t encrypt, the people we affect [by cracking down on privacy] are the good people. They are the 99.999pc of people who are good.”

We’ll still put our data in iCloud more willingly than Google, though.


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