Apple CEO Cook: ‘Privacy to us is a human right… a civil liberty’

“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Washington D.C. Tuesday to testify before Congress about customer privacy, this after it was revealed in March that research firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to the personal information of as many as 87 million Facebook users,” Catherine Clifford reports for CNBC.

“The scandal and resulting fallout have made privacy an issue of immediate concern for the wider tech industry. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently reiterated his views on the subject, taking a strong stance,” Clifford reports. “‘We care about the user experience. And we’re not going to traffic in your personal life,’ Cook said of Apple. ‘I think it’s an invasion of privacy.'”

“Cook made the comments during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Recode’s Kara Swisher, which was taped in late March and aired April 6,” Clifford reports. “‘Privacy to us is a human right. It’s a civil liberty,’ he said. ‘[I]n something that is unique to America, you know, this is like freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and privacy is right up there for us.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple should be running a massive ad campaign that clearly explains how they stand apart from virtually every other major Silicon Valley company when it come to privacy and monetizing users. Every time there is a breach or an abuse at Facebook, Google, etc. Apple should be ready to pound their privacy message into the general public’s exceedingly thick collective skull.

The more people are educated about unchecked data collection and the more who value their privacy, the better Apple’s sales will be. Today, it’s literally Apple against the world.MacDailyNews, July 14, 2017

People who value privacy and security use Apple products.MacDailyNews, September 12, 2015

SEE ALSO:
Should Apple create a social network that doesn’t abuse, but protects user privacy? – April 9, 2018
Apple co-founder Woz quits Facebook – April 9, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg admits Facebook scans the contents of all private Messenger texts – April 4, 2018
Facebook to warn 87 million users that their data ‘may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica’ – April 4, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg and the never-ending stench of Facebook – April 2, 2018
Apple may be the biggest winner from Facebook’s data scandal – April 2, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg blasts Apple CEO Cook’s criticism of Facebook as ‘extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth’ – April 2, 2018
Apple CEO Cook: Facebook should have self-regulated, but it’s too late for that now – March 28, 2018
U.S. FTC will investigate Facebook over privacy or lack thereof – March 26, 2018
Apple CEO Cook calls for more data oversight, ‘well-crafted regulation’ after Facebook debacle – March 26, 2018
Facebook has been collecting call history and SMS data from Android devices for years; Apple iOS devices unaffected – March 25, 2018
Apple CEO Cook ramps up pressure on Facebook, calls for more regulations on data privacy – March 24, 2018
Steve Jobs tried to warn Mark Zuckerberg about privacy in 2010 – March 23, 2018
Facebook has gotten too big, too powerful, too influential for Mark Zuckerberg to handle – March 23, 2018
How to block Facebook completely from your Mac – March 22, 2018
How Facebook made it impossible to delete Facebook – March 22, 2018
What to expect from Facebook’s Zuckerberg if he testifies before Congress – March 21, 2018
Why Facebook’s blatant disregard for users’ privacy could be very good for Apple – March 21, 2018
Facebook’s surveillance machine – March 21, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg AWOL from Facebook’s damage control session – March 20, 2018
U.S. FTC reportedly probing Facebook’s abuse of personal data as UK summons Zuckerberg for questioning – March 20, 2018
Yet another Facebook debacle means it’s time for an Apple social network – March 19, 2018
The problem isn’t Cambridge Analytica: It’s Facebook – March 19, 2018
Apple: Privacy is a fundamental right – September 27, 2017

22 Comments

  1. Beautifully said Tim but you should check your government in action because they have absolutely no concern for human rights when it suits them. Just look at their terroristic actions at those they shipped off to Guantanamotrumpo on the Bay Resort, the near genocidal number of murders inflicted upon the Iraqi people for some weapons of mass destruction program that after 15 years is looking pretty imaginary and all the revelations of Snowden on invasion of privacy.

    So you go ahead Tim, fight for privacy, free speech, cause your so called government has been flushing those ideas down the toilet as they de-evolve themselves to the cave.

    1. “Just look at their terroristic actions at those they shipped off to Guantanamotrumpo on the Bay Resort, ”

      You’re a fucking idiot. “Guantanamotrumpo”? What about Obama’s CAMPAIGN PROMISE to shut Guantanamo down?

      Nothing like attaching personal dislikes of an incumbent when an “offending” act/institution that precedes the incumbent.

      1. For the record, one of Obama’s first actions as president was an order to relocate the prisoners to other military prisons and close Guantanamo. Congress blocked the process. Turns out in America people are given the basic human right to an efficient trial. Keeping the accused offshore was necessary to hold them indefinitely without trial. So Obama, rebuffed by an obstructionist congress, ordered that the trials get moving and so the number of prisoners quickly declined. Trump promised much about Gitmo too but the MAGA fan club isn’t taking Donny to task for any of his wild promises.

        Lo and behold, the heathans didn’t sack mainland America the second they were released, did they? Maybe this legal due process stuff really is cheaper and better than isolating ourselves inside a big stockade and treating all foreigners like barbarian hordes? That or these unwashed 96% of the world population that is not American all know botty and First Whatever are in their positions on the medieval wall, patrolling to prevent anyone with brown skin from joining Club USA with their god given small arms. Could be.

        1. This is why Tim’s position on privacy and other human rights is so important, civilized behavior has left the government of Apple’s home nation.

          At the end of the day no matter how you slice it, torture is for terrorists and Apple’s home country along with others fits the bill.

          1. Road Warrior:

            We all strongly wish you could please dissociate the actions of a democratically elected republic from the non-democratic military industrial complex that controls the corrupt two parties. We should never outsource values morals and ethics to non-democratically elected, profit-motivated corporations.

            Most Americans, and most businesses, are decent, peaceful, and well meaning. Please stop confusing yourself (like the vocal libertarian idiots here) that “all government is rotten”. It isn’t true. The underpaid civil servants of the US and state and local governments do a pretty damn good job with the pathetic budgets, lack of stability, and unreasonable expectations everyone has for them. Only a small percentage of them are not warmongers – least of all the troops who would much rather be stateside instead of camped on oil wells in the middle east and Africa.

            Democracy is the least bad form of management of any civilization yet. As much as you hate war, the current war profiteers pulling the strings in Washington DC are probably the least active in all of history.

            Here is a list of active armed conflicts:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts

            Most of these started decades ago, most of them have nothing to do with the USA and the USA has not intervened despite the vocal people who demand that the USA act as policeman for the world.

            Myanmar, Syria, Crimea, Sudan, Libya, Nigeria, Cambodia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, etc are all red hot and have been for generations. Don’t blame the USA for that. If you want to conduct peacekeeping missions all over the planet, why aren’t you doing so???

            The majority of Americans opposed the foolish Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns but let’s put things in perspective: three times as many people are dying in Syria, and twice as many in Sudan, as compared to Iraq.

            With the exception of oil industry presidents, and Reagan’s Iran Contra mess, the USA has seldom been the first to engage militarily and is almost always on the hook to stay after the melee to clean up the mess. It’s not even a question of partisanship — the USA is in the unenviable position of being in the clear power position to be able to annihilate any foe if it wanted to do so. Truman did. Problem is, the USA is a tiny fraction of the world population and long term prudent thinking demands that the USA only fix things that it can humanely repair. That is better than the incessant corruption other nations often show, where the streets are ruled by drug kingpins and warlords rather than democratically elected officials.

            / rant off.

            1. Mike: Thank you Mike for such an insightful post. I will endeavor to reply in kind.

              Your first sentence leaves me confused. Are you saying that the military from Apple’s home nation controls the two corrupt parties? If you could clarify what you mean by that it would be appreciated.

              The second sentence leaves me scratching my head as well. Who exactly is this “we” that you are referring to? Either way I find the outsourcing comment to be insightful. I can agree that a government should not have to outsource some values, morals and ethics to corporations. For example the government might support free speech but a site like MDN id not required to abide but such guidelines. On the other hand a government will outsource some values, for example the government might not support theft and will expect corporations to do the same. To me it depends on the situation.

              Ideally however, governments and corporations should lead the way by following those values, morals and ethics, i.e. talk the talk, walk the walk. The talk I find great, wonderful constitution, though it could be updated, the Geneva convention, and the universal declaration of human rights are all great guidelines for modern day values, morals and ethics. The current walk however is more than just a minor stumble, it’s a quagmire. And at the core from that is my core message.

              Torture is for terrorists. I’ll come back to this because yes I do wish to make it crystal clear that I agree that most people and businesses are decent, peaceful and well meaning. Case in point there was a coalminer that made some very insightful posts recently and I quote: “No, it’s not pretty, it’s hard, dangerous and dirty work, but we care about our environment.” and yes civil servants for the vast majority are honorable. Basically it’s a big thumbs up on your second paragraph.

              The thumbs are still up for your view of democracy and I use the term widely, if you take a gander over at wikipedia and look up “democracy index” you’ll see a pretty good list. Now to be precise, I don’t hate war, you don’t see me going on about that list you brought forth. I see war as a technology, that’s the matter of it and an intent, that’s the energy of it. Just what are those from Apple’s home country fighting for over in Iraq?

              It was a war of false pretenses, but I don’t see any taking responsibility for it, heck it’s still going on and yes the casualties are horrendous, and lopsided when it comes to civilians. How many civilian casualties from Apple’s home country happen daily/monthly/yearly on account of the Iraqi war? I’m also astonished that you presume that I am not presently conducting peacekeeping missions all over the planet. I guess you haven’t pilfered my facebook data yet. Here’s a peacekeeping mission that you can try in the safety of your own home because your boys and girls are out there defending you against an once imaginary foe. Check out “List of wars involving the United States” at wikipedia and find out how many years Apple’s home country has been at peace. I think the first year is like 1796, that’s like what 20 years after the inception of the nation. The tally is interesting overall I think it’s higher than 85% so let’s not split hairs, you are a war mongering nation on the humane side for the most part. I have no qualms beyond the Iraq war. I hope that’s clear for the war zones. My main point of concern is that torture is for terrorists.

              It is a very few indeed that I am talking about and they are getting away with it but it’s a reflection on an entire nation. Torture is for terrorist. Now you conclude with that humane repair and I salute you for bringing that forth. I will restate that once the Guantanamoshrubobammotrumpo Resort on the Bay is closed and the nation cleans up its act in Iraq you won’t hear a peep from me on the topic apart from the many congratulations and final relief. It’s something that needs to be done and it’s long overdue.

              Thank you once again for such an insightful and civil post. It was a pleasure to reply.

            2. A tedious liberal diatribe that only reflects your insecurities and personal revision of history and hatred for the greatest country in the world.

              I hope you get well, soon …

            3. @ Roadwarrior:

              Listen to Eisenhower’s parting State of the Union speech.

              To win WW2, Eisenhower realized that the USA had no choice but to allow corporations to become huge and powerful. But in the postwar years, what did the profit seeking corporations do with all that power? Some were able to redirect their operations to domestic purpose, with social conscience. Others, however, sought infinite growth by continuing to sell their weapons all over the world, polluting the planet, actively increasing and exploiting what isolationists today call “illegal” immigrant labor, and many other morally questionable practices. These corporations developed huge lobbyist organizations an infiltrated both political parties to instigate McCarthian witch hunts, escalate “police actions” in Korea, and so forth. This DOES NOT represent American values. The wise uncorrupted leaders of that era used the massive power of the USA to conduct the Berlin Airlift, guard children entering desegregated schools, rebuild infrastructure all over the world destroyed in the war, and many other humanitarian missions. If you look, you will see that the USA still spends vastly more on humanitarian aid an worldwide volunteering than any other nation. Most of us (the MAGA shouters excepted) do what we can to make the entire planet better, not just our tiny little plot of land within sight distance.

              You come here repeatedly accusing America of being a warmongering nation. News flash: all nations have had their armed conflicts. If you look on balance, the USA remains on the extremely good end of the spectrum. The unbiased data is there if you bothered to look. Stop obsessing over the Trump melodrama and look at what the citizens of the USA actually do.

              I repeat myself: corporations CANNOT lead the way in values, morals, or ethics. The corporation is a legal construct with the specific purpose of sheltering its leaders from any personal liability and dramatically increasing personal wealth building tools for the executive leaders as they exploit global labor with no democratic checks or balances. Such an entity cannot be counted on to demonstrate the most ethical behavior. Almost all corporations are set up to do the minimal legal required actions, comply with the law, and call it a day. The vast majority of corporations have a huge legal department scouring the world for legal loopholes so they don’t have to do the best practices, but lower standards of behavior. Only democratic governments have the ability to set moral rules that a civilization can support over the long term. As much as the greedhead wall street scum bitches about overregulation, it is precisely that regulation that formally establishes a nations’ values, morals, and ethics.

            4. Hey Mike,

              I spent 15 minutes watching Eisenhower’s speech you alluded to, which I found very nice and yes there were comments about the industrial military complex. You point out some of the trends to those powerful and huge corporations, some operated with a social conscience and still do, others not, that’s diversity and it still operates to this day. You state that those that don’t operate by such a means do not represent the values of Apple’s home nation.

              That pertains to my point here, these so called values are useless if not followed, specifically this one from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that your nation worked on and signed. I quote article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. I highly doubt that many if any of the corporations engage in torture but your government does and as such it comes back to the point of torture is for terrorist and subsequently the corporations of your country are leading the way in values and morals and ethics in this regard because they don’t torture their staff or clients, but your government sure does. Simply put the values you put forth look a lot like saying one thing and doing another. It goes right back to speaking with a forked tongue. That’s what I see your nation’s modern day values are in practice.

              I’ll note your comment about the spending your nation does on humanitarian aid as I’ve heard this chest thumping before many many times. Yes your country gives the most overall, impressive I applaud you for that. However, when compared to the per capita basis or gross national index other countries like Sweden shine. That is also another value I see from your nation, that self centered “it has to be about us” arrogant selfishness.

              Now about the war mongering, yes all nations have their armed conflicts. I don’t buy your statement that your country remains on the good end of the spectrum. One reference I use to illustrate that the number of years your nation has been at war is astronomically high. Another one is the global peace index, and on this list you are in the lower half (114 out of 163 nations). Still another is the list of military expenditures and for that you are on the top of the list. The facts are there and if you want to suggest some specific unbiased data go ahead, cause I’ve bothered to look and I haven’t seen anything to convince me otherwise.

              I’m not obsessing over the chump melodrama and I’d really appreciate it you you focused on the point I am making, once again, torture is for terrorists. That is what I’m obsessing about. Got it?

              Overall though I’d agree that corporations cannot lead the way in values, morals, or ethics, save when a government is devoid of it, and right now that is the case. That is why Tim Cook’s statements and actions on privacy are so important, because Snowden’s revelations for example has shown that your nation’s government has absolutely no respect for privacy. It’s a question of human decency those morals ethics and values, some companies have it, others don’t, but it’s the same with governments. My current perspective is that your government thumps the chest on how great it is, how it’s the best, the most charitable yada yada but the lipstick actions at the end of the day simply do not reflect that because torture is for terrorist pigs. Your nation is a torturing terroristic bully one, and in a bad way because you don’t torture your citizens, you torture the citizens of other nations, on top of the constant “whaaboutism” to promote yourselves as something else and most importantly of all, you should and do know better.

              So if you want to dance some more make me watch another speech, talk about the industrial military complex, make me look up stats that show how great your nation is, fine but it does not change my focus and has not altered, torture is for terrorists. It’s your country’s value because it is what you do, and it is void of modern day ethics morals and values.

              References: “Global Peace Index” and “List of development aid country donors” can be found on Wikipedia.

            5. Oh one more thing Mike, thanks for the civil conversation, you bring some important ideas forth, many that I agree with. It’s a pleasure.

      2. I used to call it the Guantanamo on the Bay resort during the obummer and shrub administration but obviously you haven’t been paying attention.

        So you fucking citizen of a terrorist nation, you missed shrub, the source of the Guantanamo on the Bay resort, a very convenient omission, but bringing it all to light it doesn’t matter if there is a demoncrat or a repukkkhan at the helm, Apple’s home country is not a fifth rate terrorist nation. Once you face up to that, maybe, just maybe the country will do something about it, but right now, denial still runs strong.

        Maybe I should call it he Guantanamobushobummertrumpo on the Bay resort just you and other citizens of that pathetic uncivilized terrorist nation realize that I don’t miss any of the presidential scum that have been involved with flushing a once great nation down the toilet.

    2. Two questions:

      1) Did Obama campaign on a pledge to close down Guantanamo?

      2) Did Obama fulfill his campaign pledge to close down Guantanamo in his EIGHT YEARS in office?

      Answer: NO, it is still open. So what we learned is liberals like yourself that live in ANY country are long on rhetoric and epic short on results.

      You have NO credibility here to rant and hate on the greatest country in the world. USA! 🇺🇸 USA! 🇺🇸 USA! 🇺🇸

  2. Dear Philosopher Tim

    Is “life” a human right?

    Why don’t you come out with an iPhone model celebrating life, from conception, as a beautiful thing, and a “right’? I know you have time because you sure are working on any product updates.

    1. We know what the US Declaration of Independence says. Multinacorporations don’t care, Tim Cook is just trying to capitalize on an opportunity to attract subscribers while Zuck is dodging his overdue grilling.

      The constitution however doesn’t guarantee life as a right (US has a death penalty remember). most nations of the world have serious population issues and even less rights guaranteed by law.

      Medical/humanitarian message follows. Don’t bother reading if your family planning is done in concert with a religious figurehead instead of a doctor. No Apple content.

      I don’t know how much time you’ve spent in the larger world, but those cultures that celebrate maximum birthrate are highly correlated to the highest infant mortality, low health education and achievement, dramatic overpopulation leading to acute resource shortage and conflict.

      The world doesn’t need a greater human population, some places are humanitarian disasters already. With climate change, uninhabitable regions are growing. Unless you want the planet resource constraints to become even more widespread than they are now (your perspective may be different if you live inside a gated luxury community withthe 1%ers), you have to look at long term population trends and reform human behavior accordingly.

      If you want peace and prosperity for all children of god, you will never find it in an overpopulated area. Family planning is a critical part of the puzzle. You likely take this for granted because even if you choose to have an enormous brood, by choice almost all western democratic nations have given women the choice to pursue careers and high education, and birthrates crashed down to 1.8 to 2.1 children per family on average. The society you live in today in the rich golden west has no real poverty. It has plenty of beggars, psycos, and druggies, but no –real– poverty.

      In the west all the unused sperm were sacrificed so that you can enjoy a quality of life that no generation and no nation has ever before enjoyed in history. Unless you work in charity or did a Peace Corps tour, you never lived among the truly sick and infirmed and destitute refugees of the world. That plight befalls all civilizations that celebrate life to religious excess.

      You take this all for granted and come here to tell women who, due to grave health concerns , rape, incest, or pure inability to support a child that they cannot terminate an unwanted pregnancy so that others may enjoy a good life? You think healthy psychologically balanced kids are going to come out of poverty, briken homes, and marginalized ghettos? Get real. Sorry but if you think more starving kids is better and the pathetic patchwork of charities trying to minimize the suffering is tackling the overpopulation problem, you are missing the big picture.

      Yes life is precious. But your god told you to forgive others their sins. Who makes the world a better place, the rich preacher who does nothing but scold others and enrich himself in a gilded lifestyle or the sinner who sacrifices for the greater good? The planet will not sustain infinite population growth, so tell us why you want Apple to preach against birth control and family planning. We get it that the religious nuts of all denominations look 2000 years or so backwards to storybooks to determine what to do, but it would do you some good to see what happens today in places where every unwanted child is carried to birth and culturally driven sexual moires drive horrid societal outcomes. Stop the short term thinking.

  3. I haven’t seen one single article about any consumer suing Facebook for their data breach but there were dozens of lawsuits for Apple slowing down iPhones. Do you think any of those 87 million users who got their personal data stolen sued Facebook? Probably not. That’s how upset they were about their personal data being used. Not at all. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are going to get a free pass for that data breach. No fines and no Fed regulation for Facebook. Heck, that Facebook stock is climbing faster than Apple’s even while Zuckerberg is being grilled by Congress. Big investors aren’t worried one bit. It only proves all FANG stocks are unshakeable.

    Apple is always boasting about protecting privacy and I’ve never heard anyone on Wall Street praising Apple for it because there’s no money in it. Most of the highest valued companies harvest data because it’s easy money and those profits are high. Consumers are nothing but fodder for those data harvesting companies and no one is going to lift a finger to stop those companies as long as they remain profitable. As far as Wall Street is concerned, protecting personal privacy is very overrated.

    1. Life isn’t fair. Haven’t you learnt that yet? Rationality is subordinate to instinct. Justice exists only to maintain the social order. Place your trust in karma and cross your fingers. And if you are the sensitive type you seem to be, get out of the stock market altogether. It isn’t emotionally healthy.

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