Tim Cook gets privacy and encryption: We shouldn’t surrender them to Google

“Every thing you search for on the Internet, every email you send, and every photo you take is scanned and mined for information by some faceless entity, and it’s not the NSA — it’s Google,” Malarie Gokey writes for Digital Trends. “All these… free services come at a very high price: our personal data and privacy. Google isn’t just scanning our searches, emails, and photos to make its services smarter, it’s also doing it to sell better ads and make more money. Little by little, we’ve sold our data to a huge corporation.”

“Apple CEO Tim Cook laid down the gauntlet during the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s (EPIC) Champions of Freedom event in Washington. He took a bold stance in favor of encryption and everyone’s right to privacy on the Internet, declaring it a ‘fundamental right,'” Gokey writes. “Although Cook has made earlier statements in the same vein, this time he elevated his rhetoric to denounce other companies (ahem, Google and Facebook) which offer free services in exchange for gobs of lovely user data.”

“He went on to say that Apple’s business is based on selling high-quality products for a clear, monetary value — no strings attached,” Gokey writes. “‘We shouldn’t ask our customers to make a tradeoff between privacy and security. We need to offer them the best of both,’ Cook concluded. ‘Ultimately, protecting someone else’s data protects all of us.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Cook is right, obviously, but Apple is left with one problem: They need to make their Photos as good as or, preferably, better than Google’s Photos which does some interesting things with photos for “free” (not really free; in exchange for your privacy) that Apple does not offer (automatic collages, stories, animations) at any price.

Right now, Apple’s photo service is second-best in terms of certain features, but it costs more. That’s not a winning combination, regardless of how many sanctimonious speeches one gives.

SEE ALSO:

Dvorak: Google Photos is too creepy – June 3, 2015
Tim Cook attacks Google, U.S. federal government over right to privacy abuses – June 3, 2015
The price you’ll pay for Google’s ‘free’ photo storage – June 3, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook champions privacy, blasts ‘so-called free services’ – June 3, 2015
Passing on Google Photos for iOS: Read the fine print before you sign up for Google’s new Photos service – June 1, 2015
Why Apple’s Photos beats Google Photos, despite price and shortcomings – May 30, 2015
Is Apple is losing the photo wars? – May 29, 2015
How Google aims to delve deeper into users’ lives – May 29, 2015
Apple CEO Cook: Unlike some other companies, Apple won’t invade your right to privacy – March 2, 2015
Survey: People trust U.S. NSA more than Google – October 29, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
U.S. NSA watching, tracking phone users with Google Maps – January 28, 2014
U.S. NSA secretly infiltrated Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say – October 30, 2013
Google has already inserted some U.S. NSA code into Android – July 10, 2013
Court rules NSA doesn’t have to reveal its semi-secret relationship with Google – May 22, 2013
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014

17 Comments

  1. If you’re using Google services you should know that:

    — When you perform a search using Google, the text string of your query as well as the URLs you subsequently click are recorded. All of them. Every. Single. Time.

    — If you have any non-Gmail email account (including your own domain-based email account), are you aware what happens when you reply to anyone who sends an email message to you from their Gmail account? That’s right, the text in the originating message as well as the text in YOUR message are auto-scanned and analyzed upon passing through the Gmail servers. The results are added to your Google profile that is indexed under your own email address, and then utilized for ad profiling and and any other marketing purposes they see fit to use.

    — Contacts stored in a Gmail account are used for profiling and association with other Google-indexed accounts (including non-Gmail accounts).

    — The videos you watch on YouTube are also added to your profile.

    — The photos you upload to Google Photos absolutely do have facial recognition applied, with the results being cross-referenced with your Google profile and other Google profiles.

    — Let’s be clear: Even if you don’t have a Gmail account, you have a Google profile from using Google search, watching YouTube, or exchanging an email with someone who uses a Gmail account.

    — All of this information is retained forever by Google.

    None of this is paranoid conspiracy theory; it’s simply the way Google does business. And the overwhelming majority of people worldwide seem to have gladly accepted it.

  2. Google’s theme song is so familiar…

    Every breath you take and every move you make
    Every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you
    Every single day and every word you say
    Every game you play, every night you stay, I’ll be watching you.

    (Apologies to The Police)

  3. Apple most certainty stores your data on their servers which they state they do not share with others. Rest assured Apple analyzes data to understand how to sell you more Apple products…. and that is the reality of every company who collects and stores data. I wouldn’t trust any billionaire CEO because they had to lie and deceive and manipulate others to get where they are. So why would you believe what Tim Cook says? Common sense folks.

      1. Here is with commonsense dictates. Googles give you services for free. They make money selling advertising. Apple makes money selling products. Apple does not make money selling advertising.if you are smart you will make your own conclusions.

        1. The point is you can’t blindly assume any statement from a corporation is truth since their motivation is profits and revenue. Tim Cook is so obviously rehearsed and fake on stage when introducing new products. All the Apple execs are. Look at Steve Jobs on camera vs how he really was. LOL. So I agree, Google AND Apple AND many corporations should not be trusted. They want your money and certainly do not have your best interests in mind. Apple just tells you they do :)’

          1. @The truth

            I have never read a more idiotic statement on any board or blog than yours.

            Your life can be accurately summed up as follows:

            1. You have never, nor will you ever, own a business. The first thing you would have to understand about any business is that it exists to make money, so it can continue to operate. If a business makes no profits or revenue (and we realize that, to you, those are dirty words) then the business will have no means to continue functioning. And you would be there to immediately castigate any such company that goes out of business (thereby causing the loss of people’s jobs) as “proof” that all companies are simply evil. Do you not see the impossibility of your so-called thinking?

            2. You have no idea how the real world actually works, most likely because you’re a self-important slacker who lives in his mom’s basement, where you dwell incessantly on how the evil corporations are ruining your life (even though you don’t work). Stop playing your XBox and run upstairs and get your daily comfort of sucking your mum’s tits.

            3. Take off your tinfoil hat. It’s not working.

            1. re: “OhYeahThatGuy ” – you must be one unhappy angry 20 something since you made personal attacks, assumptions and then argued a point which was not discussed. I mentioned that companies are motivated by revenue and profits. They will stretch the truth and lie to ensure the aforementioned. So why would anyone put total trust in one tech company? it is foolish. I hope you would agree that lying is wrong? Apple has lied and manipulated the truth so many times as has Google, why would you have blind faith in them?
              BTW, I’m in my mid forties, run a $25M/yr business, have been in the tech industry for 25 years. I’ve worked with Apple and Google, Microsoft, etc…have friends who have worked or still work with these companies, don’t own an Xbox, never will, and I live in the country on 75 acres of beautiful forest with my awesome family who I love dearly. All the best to you. Stop hating, open your mind and heart to see the truth. Regards.

          2. The actual point is, even if we choose to disregard what companies (and their executives) publicly and officially say, you can easily find out the details by observing what they do and how they do it.

            Apple has a huge profit margin for the market space they compete in. They have no advertising revenue business to speak off; it doesn’t appear in their financial reports, and there are no ads on any of Apple’s hardware or software products. Common-sense conclusion is that Apple does NOT sell customer data to anyone (otherwise, there would be a line item for that revenue on their financial documents). While they are likely collecting this data, it is only for their own use. So far, I have never received ANY advertising from Apple; not via e-mail, not embedded or in any other way. So clearly, Apple is NOT using their own customer database to target them via ads.

            From the very beginning of Apple (Steve and Woz), their corporate philosophy was always somewhat different than any other corporation. Focus on customer satisfaction has always been Apple’s principal driver, with the belief that if do your business in a way that pleases your customers, (from hardware and software products, to customer service), it will eventually be reflected on the bottom line. This philosophy has been validated (should I say vindicated?) many times for Apple. Unlike Apple, companies such as Google, or Facebook, or Microsoft, build their business model by trying to answer the question: “How can we monetize our customers?”; in other words, how can we make money from our customer data.

            As has been said before, if you are NOT a paying customer, you are the product for sale to a paying customer. I would rather not prostitute myself for a free G-mail account…

  4. SO TIM!

    In the same spirit, how about getting Apple’s software security act together? I have a list of five security problems on your plate right now. I see NOTHING AT ALL being done about them. WAITING! WAITING! WAITING! Don’t wait for a crisis before you patch the HOLES in your boat please.

    (Look Apple haters: This is an Apple fanboi kicking Apple in the ass for being dangerously lazy and slow. Amazing, isn’t it.)

    1. To be fair, Apple never makes an announcement that there’s a security problem. Typically an update just comes out to correct it. I get why people are upset by that, but by the same token, some of the things that you see in the media as giant gaping holes in security have a slim chance of actually being executed. That said, make no mistake, every company has security issues they have to take care of.

      1. Apple not talking about the ongoing publicly disclosed security holes in OS X is a wise thing. No contention there. But DOING nothing about ongoing publicly disclosed security holes for MONTHS and MONTHS is irresponsible and dangerous. As I pointed out, waiting until a crisis is the WRONG way to run any system.

        BTW: I never exaggerated these security holes into ‘giant’ or ‘gaping’. But I will point out that the exploit of any publicly disclosed security hole is inevitable. Saying there is a ‘slim change of actually being executed’ points out that you haven’t studied the history of computer security, particularly within this decade.

        Meanwhile, yes indeed: every company has security issues requiring attention. It’s dark side of software development on a few different levels. New, superior memory management coding languages like Swift help a lot. But the costs resulting from bad coding resulting in security holes must be taken into account in every software product. Just dumping Version 1.0 ‘good enough’ stuff on the market is increasingly unacceptable. There’s more to coding than bowing to the pressures of ca$h. That applies to automobiles, baby strollers, baby toys, baby cribs, child car seats, milk products, GMO agriculture, air bags, on and on.

  5. I can’t wait to see who Tim Cook will be blasting over censorship and suppression of free speech. Seems like you just can’t say nice things about the free and civilized world these days.

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