Tim Cook comments on security, privacy at Champions of Freedom awards dinner

Tim Cook took time out of his busy schedule yesterday to talk about privacy with folks attending EPIC’s Champions of Freedom event in Washington. EPIC, a non-profit research center focused on emerging privacy issues, was honoring the CEO for his superior “corporate leadership.”

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook wasn’t able to make it to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) Champions of Freedom awards dinner, which took place last night, but he did video call in, getting a chance to chime in on topics like security and privacy. As usual, Cook wasn’t shy about pointing out other “prominent” tech companies in Silicon Valley, suggesting that the way they do things, by monetizing the information they learn about their users, simply isn’t the way that Apple plans on doing things:
“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.“
Cook was more than willing to point out that “free” doesn’t always mean the best possible product, and that he believes users should be in control of their own information. Having a free product, Cook added, isn’t worth the trade-off in security:
“We believe the customer should be in control of their own information. 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.“ 
Finally, Cook talked about encryption, saying that Apple’s plans to keep the information of its users safe and secure won’t change in the future. He went on to say that he believes it’s “dangerous” that many individuals within some government bodies want to try and access the information that’s secured on Apple’s devices.

“We think this is incredibly dangerous. We’ve been offering encryption tools in our products for years, and we’re going to stay on that path. We think it’s a critical feature for our customers who want to keep their data secure. For years we’ve offered encryption services like iMessage and FaceTime because we believe the contents of your text messages and your video chats is none of our business. If you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it too. Criminals are using every technology tool at their disposal to hack into people’s accounts. If they know there’s a key hidden somewhere, they won’t stop until they find it.“

Source: TechCrunch 


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