Apple CEO Cook continues hammering Facebook over privacy violations

“Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook delivered more than a commencement speech at Duke University on Sunday. He sent a clear message about data privacy — once again — to 5,500 graduates,” Jon Swartz reports for Barron’s. “‘We reject the excuse that getting the most out of technology means trading away your right to privacy,’ said Cook, who earned an MBA from Duke. ‘So we choose a different path, collecting as little of your data as possible, being thoughtful and respectful when it’s in our care because we know it belongs to you.'”

“Sound familiar? For the second time in roughly a month, Cook forcefully took Facebook to task for its handling of its members’ personal information, cementing a narrative pushed by Apple that juxtaposes its strict privacy approach — and by extension, its business model — with Facebook and other ad-dependent companies that aggressively monetize data,” Swartz reports. “By invoking social responsibility, a topic that resonates with the under-30 demographic, Cook is taking Apple’s approach directly to younger workers and customers.”

“Cook’s calculus is shrewd: His underlying argument, tucked within the speech, is a reminder that Apple considers itself a trustworthy and socially responsible employer, which plays well in the Silicon Valley recruiting wars,” Swartz reports. “Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights, tells Barron’s, ‘Cook has been vocal about data privacy and this was a good forum to paint the picture around where Apple as a company and culture sits on this hot-button issue.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It cuts both ways. Apple delivers privacy, but, because of the company’s sdtrict stance, they also deliver a suboptimal personal assistant, inferior photo management apps, etc.

Imagine if there were some way for users to trust Apple and cede some degree of privacy in return for a more capable Siri, an improved Photos, etc.? What percentage would enable it? We bet the number of users opting to trust Apple would surprise Tim Cook.

Om Malik on Google Photos vs. Apple Photos – May 14, 2018
iPhone X owners are extremely satisfied with basically everything except Siri – April 20, 2018
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
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014


  1. Hey Apple, fix your own stupid stuff first and then you can criticize other companies out there.

    AI sucks – check
    Mac Hardware sucks – check
    iOS and OS X Software buggy – check
    CEO who wants to talk instead of making his company better – check
    Doesn’t understand that consumers want expandable hardware – check

    1. Many of the comments here are ignoring the most important sentence in the article:

      “Cook’s calculus is shrewd: His underlying argument, tucked within the speech, is a reminder that Apple considers itself a trustworthy and socially responsible employer, which plays well in the Silicon Valley recruiting wars,”

      Tim Cook does not personally design, build, or sell Apple’s products. Apple employees do that, which is why attracting, hiring, and retaining qualified talent is Job One for Apple as a company and for Tim Cook as a CEO.

      The deep end of Apple’s recruiting pool is not among displaced coal miners in Appalachia, textile workers in the south, ironworkers in the Rust Belt, or farmers in the Middle West. While they are all fine folks, not deplorable at all, they are not a good fit for Apple’s needs. They want top graduates from research universities like Stanford and Duke who want to live in places like the Bay Area or Austin.

      At least half of the population of the Bay Area has recent ancestors from Latin America, Asia, or Africa. Many of the others are descended from recent European immigrants. Even among the remainder, nearly everyone has friends, neighbors, or inlaws who are Hispanic or non-white. Many know decent hard-working people who are facing deportation if immigration policy is not reformed.

      The Bay Area also has a high concentration of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or otherwise outside the Bible Belt norm. Many (probably most) other residents have friends or relatives who fall into one of those categories.

      So privacy, diversity, sexual non-discrimination, and other corporate culture issues that an outsider might regard as irrelevant are critically important in recruiting people from the Bay Area or to work in the Bay Area. Austin is much the same, if less so. When Tim Cook attacks Google and Facebook on privacy, he is doing Job One: attracting qualified applicants for Apple jobs.

  2. Why does Tim Cook even waste his time? Didn’t Facebook just have a data breach scandal and Mark Zuckerberg made a fool out of those Capitol Hill people. Facebook received no fines or regulation. Zuckerberg received no punishment at all. Every penny Facebook lost in value from the “scandal” was gained back and more. Facebook’s financial value is greater than ever and Facebook is ready to overtake Apple in share price after all the initial complaints of over 80 million subscribers having data stolen. Already, the whole incident has been long forgotten.

    Facebook users don’t care about privacy. Facebook investors don’t care about privacy. Capitol Hill doesn’t care about privacy. The only person who seems to care is Tim Cook and he doesn’t matter to anyone. Tim Cook is trying to push something that most people aren’t concerned about. All the data-harvesting companies will continue to outperform Apple quarter after quarter and that’s the only thing that matters to Wall Street and big investors. 95% of the people on the planet don’t give a damn about personal privacy and everyone is happy. Profits always win out over personal privacy and that will never change.

    Most of the people in the world use Google Services and Google is always snooping data from users. Still, Android devices dominate the planet. And guess what? Android will continue to dominate the smartphone market… FOREVER. That’s how much people are concerned with personal privacy. There will be no mass Android OS user exodus to iOS devices because of Tim Cook’s personal privacy pleas.

    Android P is just about ready to go and Oreo is only installed on about 6% of all Android devices. Who cares about Android fragmentation? Almost no one. Consumers simply don’t care about such unimportant issues. All they want is cheap hardware and free services. For all intents and purposes, Android wins by a wide margin.

  3. “Android will continue to dominate the smartphone market… FOREVER.”
    “Android wins by a wide margin.”

    What the hell are you talking about? Dominate? Win? In what sense? Apple rakes in most of the profit in phones. These organizations are BUSINESSES, the goal of which is to make money. Apple does that, while producing the products that everybody else copies and while becoming the biggest company on the planet. Please explain how Androcrap is dominating and winning. And “FOREVER” — puh-lease!

  4. I don’t care who is doing the criticising as long as it keeps up. Zuckerberg needs to be made an example of, as a deterrent to other casual megalomaniacs with zero social conscience being gifted by venture capitalists. Speaking of which, VCs are too easily bamboozled by mysterious technology mansplained by narcissistic characters like Zuckerberg. I do understand VCs’ vital role in promoting innovation, and that they must calculate their risk when deciding on funding startups. But I wish they would work one more variable into their predictive equations — their own accountability. If their projects fail they lose money,— but if they succeed and change the world for the worse? — I don’t want them to get away with that:— profiting at the expense of the well-being of society. In the province of novels, movies, and videogames, this is a very well-developed concept, indicating a public thirst for justice. The public understands that their leaders are thieves and mountebanks. They only hope they’re forced to leave before things get really bad.

    1. Good points.
      It’s supremely important that an alternative to the accepted status quo is promoted – if only to reinforce the idea that there is/are solutions to privacy invasions.
      Yes, people’s lifestyle, assumptions and general lethargy, will mitigate against sensible precautions, but the next crisis of personal accountability v security will only serve to hammer home Apple’s accountability message.
      Keep it up Apple and TC!

  5. I can’t stand FB and quit a few of years ago, because you must have been blind if you didn’t see the way they were going. I think Tim is using this as a distraction to take all the negativity away from him, because of all the great products of late.

      1. I always like a why question, thanks for asking. Why should privacy be a human right.

        Privacy is a fundamental human right recognized in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and other treaties. Privacy underpins human dignity and other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech. It has become one of the most important human rights issues of the modern age.

        That’s a statement I picked up from a website,

        From a pragmatic point of view I think it helps society function a lot better than if everything was open, plus it makes Christmas a lot more fun.

      2. George Orwell is why. In his novel Nineteen Eighty-four, he depicted a society without privacy, and it was a profoundly depressing one. Speaking, thinking, even loving were monitored and judged.

        It’s hard for us free people to conceive of the emotional devastation of abject subjugation, of slavery. It corrodes your being and defines you as an object, helpless, hopeless, and worthless.

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