Tim Cook: Apple doesn't want your data

The iPhone may cost more, but that's because Apple isn't selling your data - when others are, the CEO of Apple warned

Apple's CEO Tim Cook has taken a broadside at the business model used by its biggest rival Google, saying customers shouldn't have to trade their data for lower prices.

Cook's speech at EPIC's Champions of Freedom event in Washington said the issue of data privacy and protection was one of "morality", but it also offered an unspoken argument for why Apple's products cost more. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

"Like many of you, we at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security," Cook said, according to a report from TechCrunch. "We can, and we must provide both in equal measure."

He pointed out that other tech firms - no names were mentioned, but it's clear who he was referencing - rely on data collection for their income, saying Apple "doesn't want your data". 

"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," Cook said, according to the report. "They're gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetise it. We think that's wrong. And it's not the kind of company that Apple wants to be."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

It's an intriguing change of sales tack from Cook, suggesting he's trying to give Apple products a competitive advantage on privacy and security - the iPhone may cost more, but that's because Apple isn't selling your data.

Advertisement - Article continues below

And it's not only iPhones. Cook stressed data protection is even more important now that phones and wearables are collecting health data and used as payment methods, and as the Internet of Things is connecting more devices in our homes. 

Saying customers should "be in control" of their own information, he said getting a service for free isn't worth "having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined".

Google recently updated its Photos service to include unlimited storage, telling people it's ideal for rationalising your family pictures that are spread out across laptops, phones and other devices. 

Ensuring encryption

Cook also targeted governments on encryption, saying it's "incredibly dangerous" to allow backdoors into otherwise encrypted products. 

"We've been offering encryption tools in our products for years, and we're going to stay on that path," he said. "We think it's a critical feature for our customers who want to keep their data secure."

He added: "If you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it too."

Featured Resources

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Apple hit with $1.4 billion Siri patent infringement lawsuit
Policy & legislation

Apple hit with $1.4 billion Siri patent infringement lawsuit

3 Aug 2020
Apple acquires startup to turn iPhones into payment terminals
Technology

Apple acquires startup to turn iPhones into payment terminals

3 Aug 2020
Big tech CEOs grilled by House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel
Policy & legislation

Big tech CEOs grilled by House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel

30 Jul 2020
Apple is under investigation for alleged deceptive practices
Policy & legislation

Apple is under investigation for alleged deceptive practices

24 Jul 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
UN report points to a 350% rise in phishing websites at start of 2020
phishing

UN report points to a 350% rise in phishing websites at start of 2020

7 Aug 2020