Apple CEO Tim Cook fears people not being able to ‘express themselves fully’

Apple CEO Tim Cook fears “a world where if everybody thinks they’re being tracked all the time, then that will result in people changing their behavior. They’ll begin to think less, they’ll begin to search less, they’ll begin to not express themselves fully. And that narrow world is not one that any of us should aspire to live in.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook

Christine Dobby for The Toronto Star:

In the coming weeks, Apple Inc. will roll out a new privacy feature to the smartphones, tablets and other devices that use its iOS operating system. Privacy updates are usually a bit mundane; important, yes, but not exciting. This one though, which will require apps to get permission from users before tracking their data across other apps or websites, has stoked a storm of controversy since Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple announced it last June.

That’s because the digital advertising industry relies heavily on collecting personalized information about users to deliver targeted ads. It’s a big business, as anyone who has been followed around the internet by an ad for a pair of shoes, can attest. If you decline to be tracked, Apple’s move will restrict access to a string of unique identifying information on your device. Apple will also require the app developer not to use other information — your email or phone number, for instance — to track you…

Dobby: Why did you take that step?

Cook: Because we see a world where if everybody thinks they’re being tracked all the time, then that will result in people changing their behaviour. They’ll begin to think less, they’ll begin to search less, they’ll begin to not express themselves fully. And that narrow world is not one that any of us should aspire to live in.

So this is beyond the law, yes, beyond today’s regulation. My own perspective is this is where the puck is headed. I think people will stop and pause for a minute and see what we’re doing and it’s not something that you would say, ‘Wow that’s really wild.’ It’s something you would probably look at and say, ‘That’s pretty reasonable.’ And I think the regulation will eventually catch up. That’s my prediction.

MacDailyNews Take: Freedom of expression. Imagine that.

Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious. — George Orwell

57 Comments

    1. There is a difference between “encouraging free speech” and “requiring YouTube, Apple, or whoever to use their private resources (without their consent) to knowingly spread misinformation with possibly fatal consequences.”

      Could all of those who cannot tell the difference please move to the comments on Parler and leave these alone?

      1. Since when did Twitter, YouTube, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook etc, give a shit about whoever used their private resources (without their consent) to knowingly spread misinformation with possibly fatal consequences? Well, since before Trump that is???

        Also, remember that Progressive Liberal Democratic talking point, a favorite among Barry and fake Indian Elizabeth Warren… “You didn’t build that!” Well, a lot of other people, both private and public, were involved to create the eco system that made that “private resource (without their consent)” count their lucky stars that they came along at a time where it was possible for their idea and vision to exist.

        1. Your screen name in elegant succinct brilliance says it ALL. 👍

          I’ll simply add fashionable HYPOCRITE these days consistently promotes and supports Leftist double standards, same as hero Cook who censored Parlar’s free speech.

          IGNORANT of reality, in serious DENIAL and one lying DISHONEST Democrat disinformation political shill…

      2. Apple, a public company of massive size, censors people whose political views it does not like. Apple acts like a censor for the Democrat Party. What type of entity censors political and religious speech? Totalitarians do. Nazi Germany did. The Soviet Union did. Now Apple, Google, Twitter and Facebook do. That is what they are. And Tim Cook works to make certain over half the population does not get to say what it wants to say.

        1. Yes, Kent. Apple is following the silencing of more than half the population following the oppressive dictator tactics of Germany, Soviet Union and China. Cancel Culture Democrats are all in and woke SJW Cook is weaponizing Apple to do the same…

      3. This is NOT just about free speech, as it assume the info isn’t being tainted and it fully presumes that what hits the wires is real, true and NOT disinformation.

        “There are growing calls for advocacy in journalism. This includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. Even Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll denounced how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. Censorship and advocacy journalism have become articles of faith for many in showing their commitment to racial and political reforms. The result however has been the steady decline in trust for the media.”

        https://www.zerohedge.com/political/dont-do-reporters-rebuke-police-chief-not-use-term-riot

  1. Apple CEO Tim Cook fears “They’ll begin to think less, they’ll begin to search less, they’ll begin to not express themselves fully. And that narrow world is not one that any of us should aspire to live in.”

    But not to worry Timmy. If they do begin to think more, begin to search more, and begin to express themselves fully, cucks like you at Apple and the rest of Big Tech will be there to put a lid on it! Guaranteed!!!

    1. Or tell it to somebody who tried to sell a copy of Mein Kampf in Germany between 1945 and 2016, or who tries to fly a Nazi flag even now. Here in the United States, try to find a mainstream bookshop that would put the book on display. I assume you would not require Jewish booksellers to promote Hitler’s message. Yet you would require Apple, Amazon Web Services, and others to promote messages that they find repugnant. They have freedom of expression, too, you know.

        1. Free speech is free speech. My point is that everybody has limits, if only Nazi propaganda and child pornography. If I am publishing a newspaper or producing a self-hosted web page, I get to set those limits within the bounds of the criminal laws, and I am free to set my own more restrictive limits. If I am operating a telephone company that is licensed as a common carrier, the Government exclusively gets to set the limits.

          Because this is America and there is a First Amendment, publishers have always been able to print Mein Kampf and booksellers have always been able to sell it. Similarly, because this is America and there is a First Amendment, publishers and booksellers are free NOT to print or sell it. Requiring them to do so would require them to endorse a message that they oppose. So would requiring a Republican Party newsletter to print op-eds written by Democrats. And… so does requiring the App Store to distribute apps that it regards as promoting an unsafe message.

          You may not regard Parler as unsafe, but it isn’t your App Store. It belongs to Apple, so they get to decide. You do not get to second-guess Apple’s decision (other than by criticizing them or choosing not to do business with them). Under the First Amendment, the Government should not get to second-guess Apple’s decisions, either. Private parties can promote whatever they like (that isn’t criminal) and avoid promoting whatever they choose. Big Brother should not be dictating a requirement that someone publish something that the publisher regards as a dangerous lie.

          The argument that Apple has a monopoly because it has superior access to Apple customers is like arguing that the New York Times has a monopoly because it controls what NYT subscribers read. If they don’t like the NYT, there are plenty of alternatives. If they don’t like the offerings in the App Store, there are plenty of alternatives on the Internet. Somebody who has been banned from Twitter or Facebook has lots of ways to get their message out that do not involve forcing somebody to publish material that they regard as libelous or dangerous.

          1. Worth repeating. Apple is a censor not because of what it chooses to sell in its own store, but because:

            They force developers into a license to code for devices they don’t own. Yes you need their permission to code (speak).
            The have n App Store monopoly over their ecosystem.

          2. No matter your point, you connected Republicans to Nazis.
            And as been said many times Apple censored Parlor but not Twitter or Facebook.

            Yes, TwitFace made claims to monitor better (bullshit) but the point is Parlor was removed because it is solely used by the Right plus some crazies and of course many Leftist wanting to argue, learn or mislead.

            Twitter and Facebook are the darlings of the Left so they paid no consequences, not even a day.

            And don’t lecture me on who’s company it is.
            I’m not the Socialist here…

      1. Here’s the issue with your argument… there are thousands of bookstores. There is only one web. There is really only one search engine. There is really only a couple of widely used social media sites. See the difference? Your analogy is flawed.

        More, you seemingly ignore that the banning of Parlor was political. It was also a team effort. Parlor went out and did what socialists have been saying for years… go build you own platform. So they did. But then, when Parlor starts to gain popularity and folks start leaving FB and Twitter, Silicon Valley rallies to keep their own profits in check. They team up to beat down Parlor. They essentially make it impossible to exist. No servers, not app stores.

        Wait until this works it’s way up to the Supreme Court. We’ll see how these town-square apps defend themselves and their actions.

        1. Let us assume that the Apple action was political. (The company denies that, but you claim to know better.) The First Amendment exists precisely to protect private political activity.

          If the Government can force Apple to facilitate political messages with which the company disagrees, it can force any of us to support messages that the Government wants spread and suppress messages that the Government wants silenced. Suggesting that the Government has the power to control private political communication would be possibly the very last thing that the Founders of our nation and Framers of our Constitution would ever consider.

          With perhaps one or two exceptions, the justices on the Supreme Court are not so ideologically driven as to ignore the obvious original intent of the constitutional text.

          1. Once AGAIN, we have a failure to communicate.

            MR.DEFLECTION, you did not address ONE point in my
            post AS IS. You deflected to RINO Boehner pop culture OPINION of Reagan. Who the f*ck cares that’s not what I and others here are talking about. Try to keep up!

            That said, we all know the reason you are an indirect deflection coward because you can’t argue with facts. Yes, we got your number long ago…

      2. “Yet you would require Apple, Amazon Web Services, and others to promote messages that they find repugnant. They have freedom of expression, too, you know.”

        Tell it to a Christian cake baker!

        That you’d never tell to a Muslim cake baker.

      3. Once again, you cannot address the post as is.

        Totally off topic DEFLECTION dismissive of Mortsahl’s post or the censorship of Parlar’s conservative speech.

        Not a surprise a Libtard is AGAIN using Nazi Germany references, the war is over pal and people are free in Germany thanks to Reagan, “tear down this wall.”

        Your “whataboutisms” are irrelevant to a discussion you are INCAPABLE of having same as the rest of the WOKE HYPOCRITES in the Democrat Party and Big Biased media…

        1. As the Republican former Speaker of the House John Boehner points out, Ronald Reagan would not recognize and could not be elected in today’s party. He told Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, not the United States Capitol. Trump “incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November,”

          Apple has chosen not to lend its shovel to that project, which is their right in the constitutional republic you so obviously hate.

          1. At it again with slippery and slimy assertions that aim to support your narrative with a form of deception. Your habit of obfuscation and confounding a matter borders on clinical.

            “He told Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, not the United States Capitol. Trump “incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November,”

            I’ve NEVER read anything/anywhere that would support what you propose.

            Master conflationary.

            1. As usual, you miss the point because you’re driven by your narrative…regardless that the point/position can be loaded with deception, and or, at least confounding a matter.

              And please, one has to be a complete dumbaxe to NOT know that Boehner despised Trump and for all intents and purposes, he was nothing BUT a RINO. Go ahead and tell me Raul Ryan was the same. Voting for Trump vs a mentally handicapped candidate would be broadly described as logical, vs true and authentic support.

              Prime example of your habit of sliding in ideas that don’t pass the truth test IF one knows better. Some read critically.

              Like I said, bordering on clinical. You have no hesitancy to be truth-loose. Hello Charlottesville…let me tell you a story.

            2. Yes, Master OF DEFLECTION, Master OF CONFLATION, Master of DISINFORMATION and glad to read nearly everyone is calling out all the above. Let’s not forget his DOUBLE STANDARD HYPOCRISY and you will NEVER read one work of criticism for Cook or the Democrats. He plods along daily pushing the same FALSE narratives that are worthless when you can’t be HONEST and FAIR to both sides. No one is so wrong, so many times…

          2. Once AGAIN, we have a failure to communicate.
MR.DEFLECTION, you did not address ONE point in my post AS IS.

            You deflected to RINO Boehner pop culture OPINION of Reagan. Who the f*ck cares that’s not what I and others here are talking about.

            Try to keep up!
            
That said, we all know the reason you are an indirect deflection coward because you can’t argue with facts.

            Yes, we got your USELESS number long ago…

            1. Since you think that privately owned media companies have a constitutional duty to give equal time to both sides, I’m sure you would support having Congress force Fox News to give the Rev. Al Sharpton a prime time opinion program.

      4. Bet you didn’t know NAZI is an acronym with stands for NAtional soZIalistisch. Can you tell me how this form of socialism differs from communism? If you throw the term out, you should demand of yourself the professionalism to use the terms properly.

  2. You mean defense of free speech coming from the CEO who banned Parler? I didn’t and don’t use Parler, but I know how to spot crap logic. I don’t want to have some CEO decide what I can and can’t see. As a amateur historian on the evils of Socialism, on the National Socialism side, I’ve visited Auschwitz, Birkenau, Dacau, Triblinka, Chelmo, the Warsaw Ghetto, and towns where the Final Solution happened – read “Ordinary Men”. On the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic side, I’ve visited the Pliesti Prison (Romania – Wiki it) and the Holomodor. The Holomodor is virtually unknown, but the Ukrainian government claims 8-12M died of forced starvation on Stalin’s orders. The pictures I’ve seen are horrific and it seems it was much crueler than the relatively fast bullet to the back of the head or the gas chamber. Here is what really bothers me – 99.99 percent of people have never heard of the Holomodor, a genocide which took place in the same country (Poland and Western Ukraine – Stalin moved the borders after WWII) which killed up to twice as many people as the Holocaust. Interesting side note, George Orwell wrote Animal Farm because of how the New Times destroyed the one reporter who tried to tell the story of the Ukrainian ‘famine’. Ask yourselves, why does no one remember this atrocity, but hears about the Holocaust almost daily? Did the NYT hide this piece history? Likely. Did it crush dissent? Likely.

    I want as many voices, to include crack pots, telling truth to power. Let me hear their ideas and decide for myself what is true and what is false. Sadly, Tim Cook reminds me of the NYTs in the 1930. He mimics what the Times did to Garett Jones, he kills the messengers (Parler). Free Speech is tough, viva Free Speech!

    1. “Here is what really bothers me – 99.99 percent of people have never heard of the Holomodor, a genocide which took place in the same country (Poland and Western Ukraine – Stalin moved the borders after WWII) which killed up to twice as many people as the Holocaust.”

      The winners were involved in this and it does not fit into their narrative. Siding with evil is onconvinient topic. Better to ignore or find excuses why victims “earned it”.

      1. So I guess by this logic, it is fine if FANG sensors view points, since they are the current winners. Just like The NY Times was the winner in 1933.

  3. “You mean defense of free speech coming from the CEO who banned Parler? ”

    Isn’t more fitting and explanatory to add “and didn’t ban Twitter and FB”? Parler got the boot while fellow-guilty parties, Apple deemed as free of guilt.

    This is inexplicable logic that points to the importance of favored narratives (and hypocrisy).

  4. Timmy is all for free expression as long as Apple agrees with what you are saying. Otherwise, you get your app removed or the owner of the app cancels you.

    Hey Timmy, why arent you preaching your swill to the Chinese government?

  5. All of you who equate the availability of an app on a privately owned App Store to censorship in the context of the U.S. Constitution need a real lesson in what “freedom of speech” is. It has nothing to do with what private individuals, organizations or companies can or cannot do to you regarding your free expression of thoughts and ideas. Nothing. It is centered on whether the GOVERNMENT can silence you.

    I don’t have all the answers when it comes to the merger of speech and technology (it’s going to be very, very tricky and we’re learning as we go) but it is at least as equally offensive that the government would require Apple or anyone else to house things it doesn’t agree with as it is that a private company would silence a citizen.

    But one requires a wholesale change of the Constitution of the United States, and the other does not. Apple, Facebook, Google, and on and on . . . these companies have the right to do what they want with their own servers and platforms, whether you agree or not.

    And then, as a consumer, you have the right to support them or not support them with your own money. It really is as simple as that. If there’s a big enough market for what Parler offers, then it will sort itself out, won’t it?

    Tim Cook is talking about privacy settings at the operating system level that prevent specific capabilities of ad-targeting tech companies from fleecing your data and to give you the choice of the “convenience” that comes with those technologies versus your own privacy. And you’re all upset?

    Think. And if you want Parler, then invest in it or start your own. I wish you the best of luck, I’ll probably be a member.

    1. Disagree with your premise. When a handful of corporations collaborate with government for control over the individual, we are playing in an entirely different ballpark, not just a different game. Please remember, IBM provided the NaZi party with the technology to track Jews. Was there any moral imperative? Is Apple’s banning of Parler, but not Twittter any different? Is this, in effect, a social credit score? My observation is Apple’s willingness to turn over data on Manafort and Stone, but not turn over the data on Hunter Biden. Finger on the scale? So if Timmy will put his finger on the scale for Democrats, when will he put his finger on the scale for something dear to you? Also, Apple’s behavior with Trump allies and Parler, why would you trust them with your data? Do you think a corporation can speak a good game, but do the opposite? Prove to me that Apple is telling the truth!

      1. Well, the trouble with your premise is that it assumes that governments and corporations are inherently evil. They aren’t. They’re just made up of flawed people and a simple document in my country — the Constitution — is the best thing we have to simplify things into the most level playing field possible. Nothing is ever perfect at any given moment, but we can move the needle over time in the right direction.

        I don’t know enough about your Manafort-Stone-Biden unequal application of policy to argue. I do know that every case is different — and so was there a (no pun intended) apples to apples request by law enforcement? Was the data available in the same manner (passcode versus cloud-based data that doesn’t require a password)? I’m not arguing, I’m just saying every single situation is different and while it could be politically motivated, could just as easily be circumstantially different.

        My view is just much simpler. Companies can do what companies can do. Government can do what it can do. We always have to pay attention, but they should not be treated the same because they are not the same.

        Vote for politicians at the ballot box, vote for corporations with your bank account. That’s democracy and capitalism. The trouble is that these things blend all the time and mistrust is clearly rampant.

        If you think that the answer is that companies can’t actually control speech on their own platforms, then we disagree. I think it is government that should stay out of it, personally, and the free market ought to decide everything it possibly can. You believe that corporations are the problem . . . . I think start one — or invest in one — that isn’t because that’s your true power.

        1. Some valid points. However, based on countries with concentrated governmental power, the result is almost always bad – Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler (Nat Socialist), Mugabe, Chavis/Mindoro, Emperor Hirohito (see Battle of Manila and the atrocities during WWII) and the warlords in Afghanistan and Mogadishu — an the beat goes on. True, our Constitution theoretically protects us from the totalitarian tendencies of tyrants, it only protects us if it is upheld. With Manafort and Stone, did Apple provide the data because of moralism or because the government threaten or enticed them with contracts and regulation? As a civil libertarian, Tim Cook has done some things which I find very, very concerning. That said, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have far more worrying things to our liberties and the rule of law.

  6. While you at it, please explain Apple’s staunch commitment to emojis…a motif that’s nothing but a dumbing down and effectively trivializes human communication?

    But hay…”we’ve got a new emoji library update that we all think you’ll be excited to see. Our Team has been burning the candle at both ends to get them out to you.”

    Meanwhile, the Mac Pro gets stalled for years.

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