Apple CEO Tim Cook on data privacy: "What kind of world do we want to live in?"

The head honcho of the world's largest company weighed in on privacy at this year's International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners.

31

Earlier today in Brussels, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at this year's International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. Please take a look at his full keynote address.

He took to Twitter to share his thoughts on data privacy. 

Here are everyone of Tim Cook's tweets from the thread mashed together in more readable format:


It was an honor to be invited to in Brussels this morning. I’d like to share a bit of what I said to this gathering of privacy regulators from around the world. It all boils down to a fundamental question: What kind of world do we want to live in? GDPR has shown us all that good policy and political will can come together to protect the rights of everyone. We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. No matter what country you live in, that right should be protected in keeping with four essential principles:

First, companies should challenge themselves to de-identify customer data or not collect that data in the first place.

Second, users should always know what data is being collected from them and what it’s being collected for. This is the only way to empower users to decide what collection is legitimate and what isn’t. Anything less is a sham.

Third, companies should recognize that data belongs to users and we should make it easy for people to get a copy of their personal data, as well as correct and delete it.

And fourth, everyone has a right to the security of their data. Security is at the heart of all data privacy and privacy rights.

Technology is capable of doing great things. But it doesn’t want to do great things. It doesn’t want anything. That part takes all of us. We are optimistic about technology’s awesome potential for good — but we know that it won’t happen on its own.


Cook during his keynote address at ICDPPC 2018 stated that he would be open to U.S. federal regulation of data privacy, saying that data collection is being "weaponized against us with military efficiency." "We shouldn't sugarcoat the consequences. This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them," Cook said. "This should make us very uncomfortable. It should unsettle us." Cook's vision for data privacy in the tech sector is not that crazy. 

Apple's CEO laid out four very clear bullet points regarding users' right to privacy. "We at Apple are in full support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States. There and everywhere, it should be rooted in four essential rights: First, the right to have personal data minimized. Companies should challenge themselves to de-identify customer data — or not to collect it in the first place. Second, the right to knowledge. Users should always know what data is being collected and what it is being collected for. This is the only way to empower users to decide what collection is legitimate and what isn't. Anything less is a sham. Third, the right to access. Companies should recognize that data belongs to users, and we should all make it easy for users to get a copy of, correct and delete their personal data. And fourth, the right to security. Security is foundational to trust and all other privacy rights."

Apple has been a leader on the data privacy front for years, and while they are the largest tech behemoth in the world, it is great to see the company hold onto their values and respect their customers. What say you, Shackers? Do you enjoy spoonfeeding Facebook and Google all of your private information so they can profit off of you with advertising and selling your data? Would you like to see U.S. regulators tackle this issue? Let us know in the comments section.

CEO

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty

    • reply
      October 24, 2018 11:05 AM

      What other options do Google and Facebook have if they want to offer free services? How successful would the iPhone have been with no Google services?

    • reply
      October 24, 2018 12:17 PM

      Tim Cook will be gone within 3-5 years, as Apple tries and fails to find a new high-growth market, or innovate in existing markets (re: a thin touch-screen bar on a laptop? really? A notch on a phone?... ughh). And going with him, will be Apple's stance on strong privacy.

      AR is the next high-growth market, and we haven't seen shit from Apple aside from a software SDK. People will slowly switch from smartphone to a Google Glass like solution, and unless Apple can capitalize on that trend, they are in for a bumpy ride.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 12:18 PM

        LOL, gone? K.

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 12:29 PM

          He lacks the celeb power of Jobs, and without it, he's even easier to swap out when things take a turn for the worse.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 12:24 PM

        why pick on apple with ar? we havent seen anything from anyone in the ar/vr space.

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 12:32 PM

          Google: Tango, Google Glass, Daydream, heavy Magic Leap investment
          Facebook: Oculus Rift, Go, Quest, and you can bet your ass they are going into AR
          Others: Leap Motion, Meta 1/2, PSVR, Magic Leap, Hololens... Hololens 2 coming out next year (rumored).

          List goes on.

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 12:44 PM

            This reads like a list of all the smartphones that existed before the iPhone.

            • reply
              October 24, 2018 12:55 PM

              Yeah I'm not even really an Apple fanboy, but I expect they will enter the space when they know how to dominate it.

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 3:12 PM

            i see products.. but except for psvr and maybe oculus, what have they done for consumers? nothing.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 12:26 PM

        You are crazy. And by crazy I mean fucking out of your mind.

        Tim has lead Apple to amazing growth and they are doing just fine. And anyone who points to the notch as an issue 1. Hasn’t used it (non issue) 2. Doesn’t know why it’s there from a design and materials point 3. Doesnt pay attention to hardware sales.

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 12:34 PM

          Let's see how sales hold up as they approach the $1200 dollar territory, and deliver little, actual, innovation to get there.

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 12:56 PM

            this post is gonna look real dumb real soon when the next quarterly earnings report comes out

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 12:56 PM

            tagging this so when they report quarterly results next year you can eat your words.

            • reply
              October 24, 2018 2:16 PM

              I'm not even sure it's something that will be shown in a quarterly. Early adopters and Apple fans will happily pay that price.

              I'm talking next year and beyond. There is no way the market will bare those price hikes forever. Even their "low-end" iPhone XR is what? $700-$800 dollars?

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 1:00 PM

            It's not necessarily fair to assume the same level of innovative leaps today as we saw 10 years ago in such a mature market.

            • reply
              October 24, 2018 1:22 PM

              or within each product segment. Their innovation is not always going to come to the phone product going forward.

            • reply
              October 24, 2018 2:12 PM

              That's perfectly fine. Stagnation just means maturation. But Apple price inflation has been far out-pacing their innovation.

              $1000 bucks for a phone. Thats a lot of bucks.

              • reply
                October 24, 2018 2:28 PM

                $1000 for a phone you keep for 3-4 years vs $600 for a phone you keep every 2 years is actually a lower total cost of ownership compared to the past. Sales are showing that Apple customers found $600 for the phone was actually delivering consumer surplus. They've been raising the ASP for multiple years now and sales have only grown. Your thesis does not match the sales data or customer satisfaction data that's out there.

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 1:56 PM

            there hasn’t been innovation in the mobile space for years.

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 12:56 PM

          All your notch arguments are the same ones I use to defend Fortnite.

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 3:08 PM

          I'm not sure he's done much leading as the products have probably done most of that

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 12:26 PM

        But Apple is never a market leader. They let others do it first and fail.

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 12:53 PM

          Exactly. Not first to PC, not first to MP3 player, not first to smartphones and not first to tablets. They won't be first to AR/VR, but their product won't be trash if and when they release it.

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 12:56 PM

            they also weren't the first to watch

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 2:30 PM

            Literally all of those, were under Jobs' tenure though. '97 to '11

            Macintosh. Jobs. ('84?85?)
            iMac G3. Jobs.
            iPod. Jobs.
            iPhone. Jobs.
            iPad. Jobs.

            Their Apple Watch is the only thing I have seen them do that wasn't Jobs. I'm skeptical they can pull off another big product launch that gives them large growth.

            I'm not saying they have to be a market leader now, in VR/AR. But I haven't seen anything from them side from fancy camera apps... which my PS Vita could do like 6-7 years ago. Has me worried, because AR/VR isn't just shrinking down a phone to fit on your wrist. It's a whole host problems that are not easy to solve, and Apple is putting out laptops with touch bars on them, and charging $1400 for a faster smart phone.

            We shall see.

            • reply
              October 24, 2018 2:40 PM

              'my Vita is basically as good as ARKit v2 and an iPhone XS' is really taking your argument to the next level

            • reply
              October 24, 2018 3:10 PM

              I'd bet some money on Jobs bringing up the watch internally before he was gone.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 12:27 PM

        I don't think he's gonna be gone but there's definitely no cult of personality around him like there was with Jobs. That's a tough act to follow. It'd be like whoever was the successor to Tesla or SpaceX if Elon dips out.

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 12:57 PM

          Elon is taking TSLA to the grave with him.

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 12:58 PM

            I haven't followed their stock at all but how bad has it gotten because of his behavior or has it stayed relatively stable? I'm not a stocks guy.

        • Zek
          reply
          October 24, 2018 1:51 PM

          Has there ever been a successor to a position like this who then developed a cult of personality? It has to be the founder, right? Maybe it's because large established companies typically make more conservative choices for their CEO, who won't be someone with any controversial qualities.

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 2:13 PM

            Not really. If memory serves, Scully almost ran Apple in to the ground before Jobs came back and launched them in to the stratosphere.

            Once Bill Gates left, Steve Ballmer had some energy but Microsoft will always be Bill Gates (to me, anyway).

            I can't think of anyone else really.

            • reply
              October 24, 2018 2:36 PM

              Baller was a living meme but he was also a terrible CEO

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 2:32 PM

            I know of only one other. Our Fearless CEO and Great Leader at SHACKNEWS, the man with the briefcase

            • reply
              October 24, 2018 10:08 PM

              Hahaha, oh Steve, we are not a "cult," Steve. Steve, tell Steve about how we are totally not a cult.
              I see Steve over there, let me bring him over.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 12:51 PM

        They are only making money hand over fist but sure - they'll kick his ass right out.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 12:53 PM

        I dunno, I could see Tim Cook sticking around being a steward. He seems fine at running a company that just keeps selling iPhones with incremental "improvements" every year, until something else makes it irrelevant. Even then there will be a lot of people still buying iPhones out of habit.

        I don't see real evidence that the next thing will be AR/VR/MR or whatever though. Way too early. I love the possibilities of VR stuff and I love what you can do with it today, but I don't see it being adopted and accepted enough to matter, yet. I'm not surprised at ALL that Apple hasn't jumped on. Cook is too steady, and Jobs wouldn't have wanted to look like he was following someone else's lead.

        If there's a "next Apple" out there, they just released the AR/VR/MR equivalent of the PowerMac G3, or MAYBE their first iMac. They haven't released something as market-changing and important as an iPod, yet. I think the next tech company that will make a huge fundamental new thing wouldn't be recognizable, yet.

        Tldr: blah blah opine opine I'm in a very agnostic mood about tech stuff right now, I don't think there's many strong signs of where ANYTHING is going right now.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 12:55 PM

        Apple has the best wireless earbuds, the best wearable, and the best, most powerful mobile CPU/GPU to power AR/VR, and a set of customers who are happy to pay a premium for quality. And they have an enormous ecosystem and set of developers making content for their platform. Few companies are better positioned for AR/VR on hardware or software, let alone both.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 1:21 PM

        Best phones, Best laptops absolutely the number one user experience on any OS and the best earnings on selling hardware... Plus they are the only company committed to not making money on your data and actually protecting your privacy..

        I would say they are doing more than fine, not only that, they are doing extraordinary fine after losing one of the best leaders in the capitalist world..

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 1:23 PM

          we can argue on best laptops, but I would say they have excellent laptops with devoted customers who usually upgrade to a future apple version.

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 3:18 PM

            In my humble and long professional experience based opinion they are slamming everything else when it comes to laptops.

            They look great and even a 5 year old MacBook looks more modern than most of its competitors. And windows is simply shit compared to Mac OS X user consistency. The old saying it just works is so true it hurts my pc heart.

            Same goes for phones. Google keeps on messing around with the UI and functionality and on top of that they have 3rd party phones that fucks it up some more.. IPhones UI from 10 years ago have so much in common with today's iphone's its almost crazy how good the base was.

            And unlike their competitors they support them for a loooong time. The iPhone 5S from 2013 is still supported with ios 12. The Google nexus from 2013 had the last os update in 2015 with Android 6 and is 3 major versions behind.

            Disclaimer i don't own a macbook or iPhone i just service them for a living

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 1:40 PM

          I'm on board with everything but the laptops, they are a complete mess right now.

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 2:17 PM

          I'm not really a fan of the Beats stuff and I think that's more fad than good technology at work. Apple still owns them, correct?

          Also I don't think they've cracked the home assistance market yet like Google and Amazon have. I'm not sure the Homepod is a huge seller due to its price point. I'm surprised we haven't seen a little $100 device ala the Echo Dot come out for them to gain some more traction in that space.

          • Zek
            reply
            October 24, 2018 2:46 PM

            I don't see Apple ever developing the AI capabilities to compete directly with Google or Amazon in that space. They just aren't that kind of company. They should probably try to partner in some way to borrow the tech for Siri.

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 2:38 PM

          Best phone and Laptop is arguable. Samsung and Microsoft both give them a run for their money in those product lines.

          >Plus they are the only company committed to not making money on your data and actually protecting your privacy.

          This actually has me slightly worried for their future. I mean... I think privacy is super important. I've had threads about trying to get off the Google ecosystem. But so much of the innovation coming forward is going to come from AI and machine learning... how are they going to train a Siri assistant without enough user input? Facebook and Google are collecting that shit like crazy, and building entire services off of it. How is Apple going to compete with neural nets that are created from the meta-data of 100's of millions of users?

          • reply
            October 24, 2018 3:13 PM

            Use the user's anonymized data to train Siri via Core ML.

            Throw away the user's anonymized data.

            When the cops come knocking on your door for someone's data you can safely say "don't got it, sorry"

            Continue to sell top notch hardware at high prices to happy customers.

            Done and done.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 2:00 PM

        I think you're right.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 2:35 PM

        People say all kinds of dumb things here but this is so high up there. Almost every single product category has grown to generate more revenue than individual Fortune 500 companies under Cook.

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 8:45 PM

        I know what his next job will be!

        https://twitter.com/business/status/1031643513413283840

    • reply
      October 24, 2018 12:53 PM

      guess whether Tim Cook would be making this statement if Apple profited from ads and their primary competitors didn't

      • reply
        October 24, 2018 4:43 PM

        Yep, they missed that boat and are throwing stones

        • reply
          October 24, 2018 9:12 PM

          They didn't really miss it, it was never aligned with their skills or organization. But it means now it's very easy for them to claim privacy is very important because it costs them very little and hurts their competitors tremendously.

          Everyone deserves privacy! /refuses to sell phones for less than $600

          It's like Google and Facebook claiming everyone deserves free access to the internet and the best free, connected services with it. Like, ok yeah maybe they do, but I can't help but notice that's also the most profitable outcome for you and hurts your competitors who can't make money at the same scale with ads...

    • reply
      October 24, 2018 9:29 PM

      A world where technology companies are not named after pieces of fruit

    • reply
      October 24, 2018 10:11 PM

      A world where users aren't sued for repairing their ishit