Apple CEO Tim Cook Speaks on Importance of Privacy, Encryption at Champions of Freedom Event

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple CEO Tim Cook was honored at the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Champions of Freedom event in Washington yesterday, where he took the opportunity to give a speech covering Apple's stance on privacy, the importance of guarding customer information, and the company's views on encryption.

    TechCrunch has shared details on both the event and Cook's speech, calling him "characteristically passionate" about the topics he spoke on.
    Cook highlighted Apple's commitment to customer privacy while also lambasting other Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook for collecting customer data. "They're gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it," Cook said. "We think that's wrong. And it's not the kind of company that Apple wants to be."

    Image via TechCrunch​

    As he has done multiple times in past privacy-centric speeches, Cook reiterated Apple's position as a company that gets its money from selling products and services, not the personal data of its companies. He also made a subtle jab at Google's new Photos app, which offers free, unlimited photo storage.
    On encryption, Cook said he believes it's "incredibly dangerous" that some government agencies advocate for unfettered access to consumer data and devices, an issue that's come to light following encryption changes that Apple introduced with iOS 8. As of iOS 8, Apple no longer stores device encryption keys, making it impossible for the company to bypass a passcode and provide consumer data at the government's request.

    According to Cook, weakening encryption with a "master key" for the government has a "chilling effect on our First Amendment rights and undermines our country's founding principles." He says Apple will continue moving forward with encryption and will focus on building products "that keep people's information safe."

    More of what Cook had to say during yesterday's speech can be found over at TechCrunch. The Verge has also shared details on the speech.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Apple CEO Tim Cook Speaks on Importance of Privacy, Encryption at Champions of Freedom Event
  2. okboy macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    This is pretty radical speech given the past decade. Glad Apple is unafraid to say this obvious truth.
  3. Godzilla71 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 16, 2009
    WA state
  4. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Of course everyone will point to Apple's iAd platform. I wonder at what point Apple just does away with it.
  5. techguy9 macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    I love his speeches on privacy, and I agree with the family photos mining :p
  6. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    It's amazingly easy to get laxadaisical when it comes to security. Look at Adam and Eve for example: The first people to not read the Apple Terms and Conditions B-)
  7. chromite macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2013
    Google's free photos service was the first non-Apple platform that actually made me consider using it. However, after I remembered that Google makes their revenue through advertising I thought against it.
  8. sdz macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2014
    That is exactly why I trust Apple and use Apple Products
  9. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    I don't agree with the comparison of government surveillance to Google and the like.

    At least with Google, you know the quid pro quo exchange. Free awesome and super reliable email, but we have bots that mine your email to show you relevant ads. Free word processing and office tools, same deal. Free image storage, same deal. With Facebook, you get social networking software and entertainment of sorts, in exchange for data mining for ad purposes again. If someone doesn't like this deal, they don't have to opt-in, or they can opt-out if already in.

    With government surveillance, the quid pro quo exchange is much murkier. First, the government seems unwilling to explain what the exact benefits are of their data mining (other than unsubstantiated claims of safety). Second, there is no opt-out. What am I getting in return for the NSA looking at my browsing history and communication metadata?
  10. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    The one thing I respect Google for is that they’ve never hidden the fact that they’re evil. If I ever use a Google product, no matter which one, I know that they will datamine the **** out of it. Apple is at best ambiguous with some good intentions, but it’s not enough. Apple is not at all transparent about the data they already have on you and they don’t make it easy to leave them behind either. You can’t delete your Apple ID and you can’t review the data that is in the cloud.

    In addition, iCloud on my iPhone is painful. I frequently noticed that iCloud Keychain is switched on, which I never did myself. This should never be possible and it still makes me really uncomfortable that I don’t know what my iPhone does sometimes. I don’t know whether Apple discards the data when I turn off iCloud Drive for a specific app and I can’t even see which apps store data in iCloud. Last month I downloaded an old app that I had in my library and it restored the user data as well, despite not being mentioned at all in iCloud Drive (not even a toggle). So what is actually in that cloud and why can’t I see or control it? Do I have to create a new account to get a clean slate and just accept that the old account will stay there forever?

    Sorry, Apple is just repeating the same old argument again and it’s not getting any better. They may not have an incentive to collect as much as Google does, but they don’t have an incentive to be extra careful and pro-privacy either.
  11. mejsric macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2013
    "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. And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is."

    Nice one Tim.
  12. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    And rightfully so. There's also the targeted advertising in iTunes Radio. As long as programs like this exist, all this talk sounds hollow to me. They are profiling us just like the other Internet companies.
  13. bobborries macrumors member


    Jul 22, 2006
    Los Angeles
    The younger generation seems not to care about privacy and the freedoms that go along with it, I'm glad that Tim is speaking up, it gives the youth a different perspective on what it means to live free. For the older generation, we don't state the obvious, because we can't believe our rights would ever be erased.
  14. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68030


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    I like obscurity and obfuscation, myself. I wanted to be a spy when I was young and first got online. Ever since, I've enjoyed making a cloak & dagger game out of entering information online. So far so good. No one has anything on me. Even the wikipedia page on me is completely incorrect. :) I am a ghost. A phantom. A fart in the wind.
  15. needsomecoffee macrumors member


    May 6, 2008
    Consumers have a choice. Love G. Photos. Apple lags so far behind re: AI Tim has to give speeches like this. Losing proposition imho once M comes out, but nice that you all have a choice.
  16. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Not on facebook.

    Wish I could drop Google, but GApps domain hosting is just so freaking good. Need to look closely at office365, just so much time investment required at this point, and microsoft tends to lag.
  17. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Apple isn't exactly innocent of this. They just do it on a smaller scale. If they didn't, how could Apple know what type of music I like and make "Genius Recommendations?" They keep and use data from past music purchases and gather data from my iTunes Match.
  18. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    Uhmm. Don't know what you're on about. Yes, you can see all data in iCloud. Not all of it is visible in iCloud drive, but using either System Preferences -> iCloud -> Manage on Mac, you can see all data, og a similar path in Settings on iOS. And iCloud Keychain never turned itself on for me. Sorry to say this, but I think you accidentally turn it on yourself, when updating iOS or something. It'll ask you again when you update the OS for instance.

    I don't see your problem with iAds. Ads don't send private data to anyone, unless you specifically tell a certain ad to do so. iAds do not violate any privacy, and doesn't data mine. It's just an ad delivery service to help make it easier for app developers to make free apps, since it's integrated into the system, and therefore doesn't require much code. Really don't get your beef with it.
  19. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    Genius is an opt in service that tells you it gathers data. Furthermore, it only uses the data for suggestions internally, and doesn't use it for anything else than suggestions, like selling it to ad companies
  20. Colino macrumors member


    Sep 16, 2013
  21. tennisproha macrumors 65816

    Jun 24, 2011
    kudos Tim. This has been the selling point for me over Googles Android platform.
  22. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    How are iAds generated? Is it completely random?
  23. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Nope, nothing is shown there for me. I use iCloud Drive to save games (because I delete some of them often) and they are not mentioned on that list at all. As I said, sometimes I download all apps and they somehow pull user data from iCloud, even though there shouldn’t be anything there. Either my account is broken or something is really going wrong, or both.
    Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 01.05.58.png

    Just go to the Apple support forums, iCloud Keychain turning on by itself happened to other people. I don’t ever want to have my passwords in the cloud, I would never do this. I actually changed all my passwords when I discovered this.

    I’ve never had so many problems before with an online service like I have with iCloud. Apple is not offering any solutions for this and at this point I just don’t trust them at all with private data anymore.
  24. CFreymarc Suspended

    Sep 4, 2009
    Word is one. Products is another. To really show this commitment, have 'em hire Edward Snowden. Been told Apple has a very low profile office in Moscow.
  25. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

    May 9, 2015
    London, England
    I'm glad that Cook has carried on the commitment to privacy that Apple enjoyed under Jobs.

    He needs to do more of this—address something that directly affects Apple's products—and less spouting off on 'social rights' shenanigans, which have nothing to do with Apple products and everything to do with using his position at Apple to make his own personal political statement, something which Steve Jobs rightly never did.

    Tim: if you wish to be a politician, then retire from Apple and knock yourself out with political causes. Otherwise, please shut up about polarising issues and stick to your bread and butter. Apple will be stronger for it.

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