This is Tim Cook’s Apple: Clash over iPhone privacy redefines Steve Jobs’ company

“Shrugging off a grueling week that left his voice weary and body slightly slumped, Tim Cook glowed when an investor broached the topic of Apple’s showdown with the FBI during its shareholders meeting here earlier this month,” Jon Swartz reports for USA Today. “Bolting straight and adding timbre to his soft Southern accent, Apple’s CEO explained why so much is at stake in fighting the FBI’s request it unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers. ‘We are a staunch advocate of privacy,’ Cook said. ‘We do these things because they are right.'”

“In public settings, letters and testimony, Cook has been using the pulpit of Apple to emerge as one of the world’s most outspoken corporate executives on privacy and other social issues,” Swartz reports. “For Cook and Apple, taking on the government is fraught with risk. The U.S. often wins legal conflicts with individual companies. But there is an upside to Cook’s gambit: It’s good for business — buyers of Apple’s high-end electronic devices are sticklers for privacy, especially those overseas — and it has cemented Cook’s status as the tech industry’s leading voice for protecting the personal data of consumers.”

“Before Cook, Apple was a company that reflected the passion of Steve Jobs: The news that emanated from Cupertino, Calif., was product launch, product launch, product launch. The rare Jobs interview was comprised of him commenting on a new gizmo, and nothing else,” Swartz reports. “Today the narrative has changed dramatically…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We miss Steve Jobs every day, but we are extremely thankful to have Tim Cook serving as Apple’s current CEO.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

SEE ALSO:
The roots of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s activism lie in rural Alabama – March 7, 2016
The full list of who’s for Apple and who’s for U.S. government overreach – March 7, 2016
Apple case exposes ongoing rift in Obama administration over encryption policy – March 7, 2016
Apple VP: It’s so disappointing that the U.S. government wants us to sell less-secure technologies – March 7, 2016
Why Apple should hold firm against U.S. government overreach – March 6, 2016
Why even Apple’s mortal enemies are lining up to protest U.S. government overreach – March 4, 2016

16 Comments

    1. Guarded trust, based on long experience and maintaining a close watch on the current activities of Apple. If Apple starts to backslide on privacy, then we will let them know.

      The engagement of Apple’s long term fans is unique and we are part of the broader corporate culture – the vocal conscience commenting on the behavior of the company.

        1. breeze – right you are.
          KingMel must be new to Apple or hasn’t done his homework. It is not in Apple’s DNA beginning with Steve as quoted by “Steve ‘The Dude’ Jobs” to not hold privacy sacred. Steve famously didn’t get license plates for his cars, because he wanted to remain anonymous. I trust Apple as they understand that personal privacy is important, plus it is central to their business model. The only way this will change will be by order of the government. And then kicking and screaming.

    2. Trust no one. 🙂
      Seriously, Apple has earned some measure of guarded trust. But, you’re better off being careful, especially if you have political beliefs that are not approved by those who run the FBI. Here’s a good article that gives some idea into why it would be bad to trust the FBI with the ability to break into anyone’s phone. Don’t think this only would apply to leftist political beliefs.
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/3/28/1373942/-Crushing-the-Occupy-Movement-How-Wall-Street-Used-Government-Forces-to-Suppress-Political-Dissent

  1. “We’ve always had a very different view of privacy than some of our colleagues in the valley. We take privacy extremely seriously. We worry a lot about location in phones, and we worry that some 14-year-old is going to get stalked, and something terrible is gonna happen because of our phone. As an example: before any app can get location data, we don’t make it a rule that they have to put up a panel and ask, because they might not follow that rule. They call our location services, and we put up the panel saying, “this app wants to use your location data is that okay with you” every time they want to use it. We do a lot of things like that to ensure that people understand what these apps are doing. That’s one of the reasons we have the curated App Store. We have rejected a lot of apps that want to take a lot of your personal data and suck it up into the cloud, a lot. A lot of people in the valley think we’re really old-fashioned about this, and maybe we are, but we worry about stuff like this. Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for in plain english and repeatedly, that’s what it means. I am an optimist I believe people are smart and some people want to share more data than other people do, ask them, ask them every time, make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of you asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data, that’s what we think.”

    “Steve Jobs Bio: The Unauthorized Autobiography.”
    https://itun.es/nl/qB1h3.l

    1. SJ would absolutely have fought this fight, just as Tim Cook is. It’s not just Apple’s values that are at stake. It’s the validity of Apple’s competitive position against an aggressive software giant, Google, whose entire business model is predicated on the abrogation of privacy.

      Apple’s customers are the users of its products. Google’s users are the product. Of course Apple is spearheading this fight.

  2. The government has shown great restraint.

    Here ‘s how it could go…
    The government subpoenas the code for the iPhone, then it subpoenas the engineers. Now let’s say they refuse to testify or carry out a court offered to explain the code. The judge holds them in contempt and locks them up… goodbye to wife, kids and any current work they are doing at apple. Months, years for any appeals in the meantime 2 years… time family, etc.. moves on. And now that the FBI has the code they seek help from other governments and agencies.

    What a mess! A quiet no would have been enough.

    Any other country could decide to subpoena the code under there rules of law. Apple’s choice not to sell there. Apple’s market gets smaller and the cash cow dries up.

    What a mess!

    1. … under their rules …

      Apple is now a convicted criminal. The book price fixing.
      I personally disagree with that decision. it wasn’t apple’s goal to fix pricing in such a way that the consumer would be harmed. well, the publishers were free to lower prices as well as raise them. anyway. My thoughts may just be a general feeling about the manner not law.

      Yes the world is watching, but they only care to the extent that their security is not compromised. US government officials swear to defend and protect. Citizens of the US should be proud of their government for taking this issue up in full public few. Proud that men and women who take that oath take it to heart and do the hard and sometimes disliked job.

      In the US, americans, each and every last one of them are the government and that is truly a great thing. Many often forget the “We the people” part, that makes the government part of them and them part of the government. That’s also the part that unites us in war. We goto war as a nation.

      Our neighbors, those that work in a government, deal with the realism of providing that freedom which is so abstract that people argue about who has what freedoms or what freedom is, or what freedom means. It annoys me to no end to hear people belittle those men and women who choose to work for the government. Reagan was wrong, there is no better feeling then to know the United States government is here and stands ready to help you. Words to that effect may have scared him, Reagan, but they make me want to stick out my chest, raise my head a little higher and extend a helping hand to my neighbor.

      We get great value for the taxes we pay… Don’t believe it… you must be a 1%er, sending you kids overseas for education, or have your tub filled with bottled water, fly everywhere so you don’t need roads, ok … and will not be happy until you can legally pay no taxes. Then what? the government should start pay you.

      man!

  3. Apple now has a bullseye painted on its back and will continue to be an easy target for any faction that wants to take it down. Although Apple appears to be a wealthy company, it’s really proven to be quite weak and vulnerable. Apple better start getting together a really strong legal team to protect itself. The gun companies seem to have greater protection in the U.S. than Apple does.

    I still find it difficult to believe most Americans would want Apple to weaken their privacy but maybe most Americans don’t see it that way. I think compromising privacy because a few terrorists or criminals are using it to their advantage is a pretty weak argument. How about taking away the easy availability of guns to criminals and terrorists? I think that would be far more useful.

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