Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has pledged that his company is an “ally” in the fight for the protection of user data, describing the current situation regarding privacy as a crisis in an interview with the US broadcaster ABC News.
“Privacy in itself has become a crisis. I think it's a crisis”, he said, noting that this is “fixable”, adding “Like we've done every other point in time, when we get together it's amazing what we can do”.
Speaking about the sensitive issue, the Apple CEO became sentimental, reminiscing about his time growing up, when “one of the worst things, other than… something like hurting somebody or something, was the Peeping Tom”, meaning “somebody looking in the window”.
“The people who track on the internet know a lot more about you than if somebody's looking in your window. A lot more”, he warned.
Cook also reassured consumers of his company’s products “You are not our product”. But he still had to fend off criticism about colluding with Facebook and Google, and being embroiled in privacy scandals after the interviewer pointed out that Apple makes money selling these data collecting aps in the App Store.
“We don't make any money on Facebook. Google, we do make money on the browser. We selected Google, frankly, because we believe it's the best browser”, Cook rebuffed the accusations.
Apart from privacy concerns, Cook also voiced alarm at how much time people — kids in particular — spend on their phones. The CEO of the multi-billion dollar company revealed that he was himself surprised when he found out that he picked up his phone – “around 200” times a day.
“We make money if we can convince you to buy an iPhone… but I don't want you using the product a lot. What we want to build are products… to enrich your life. … Do something you couldn't do without it. … That’s what gets us excited”, he noted, promising that the tech giant is working on a way to “give the parent the controls” over their child’s access to the device.
However, many netizens did not seem to believe that this attention to the privacy of users was genuine.
@Apple has never endorsed a privacy bill, not Kerry-McCain, not the Obama Consumer Bill of Rights, not any current proposal pending before Congress. They aren't working hard to promote anything other than themselves. This is all PR.— Daniel Sepulveda (@DSepDC) May 5, 2019