Apple CEO Tim Cook Takes On Tech Giants On User Data Privacy Issue

Apple CEO Tim Cook Takes On Tech Giants On User Data Privacy Issue
Branded Terry Johnston / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly expressed his disappointment toward tech companies that take user privacy for granted for the sole reason of monetization. The Verge reported on June 2 that Cook was present in a dinner hosted by Electronic Privacy Information Center located in Washington, DC.


While explaining his disdain about privacy violation, Cook said, “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.”

The Apple CEO did not reveal names during his speech but one can surely understand he had taken on Google, Facebook and Twitter, some popular names that operate in Silicon Valley.

Cook made it clear that Apple is not going to sacrifice user privacy for generating ad revenue. He also mentioned that getting free service like email by compromising personal information like family photos, search history and more does not make sense. He is hopeful that users will understand it someday and will be more careful.

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Apple itself has an ad business known as iAds, which can be found inside iOS apps and iTunes Radio. The ad companies can target customers based on their email addresses and phone numbers. However, everything is done anonymously and with reference to other data obtained from marketers. It is also possible to opt out from iAds.

Tech companies are battling big time on user privacy these days. Apple is also fighting to regain its trust lost from users after hundreds of nude photos were stolen from iCloud accounts.

Apple supports user privacy, and it is clear from the speech delivered by Tim Cook. Other tech companies are able to provide more personalized information to users thanks to data encryption, but at the cost of privacy. According to a Business Insider report, Apple may have made its decision on the dicey topic of data encryption.