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

56 Comments

  1. Face it. Social media, woke, cancel culture, and people using racism as an excuse for every slight, no matter how ridiculous and politicians that support that. We are fast on our way to AMERIKA, comrades. Grab your vodka.

    1. Proof please.

      Let me guess, some horrible poster on Twitter gets obscenity past the automatic moderator, and it takes a day or a week to be taken down, so to you this is proof of Twitter being evil? Twitter posts its rules and it enforced them , maybe not perfect, but as reasonably well as any modern megacompany can with existing tech. All companies are imperfect.

      Parlor, which was taken over by foreign investment and fired the founder, promised originally to have no controls whatsoever, which literally meant that kiddie porn and worse would stay on its network forever. The former CEO John Matze was bankrolled by Rebekah Mercer with undeniably biased intentions, but even he saw quickly that zero moderation was unworkable.

      You honestly think zero rules is a better way to run anything? A race to the bottom, where lack of moderation results in the best funded robo-posters to dominate all discussions, and reasonable discussions can easily be drowned by disgusting immoral and hideous content that has nothing to do with the subject of discussion? We already see how lack if moderation at MAGA Daily News results in bullying and personal attacks.

      Well, if that is what you want, infinitely free speech with no reasonable moderation of any kind, then stop wasting your time using MDN, or Apple, or any US based company. There are regulation-free countries that offer your idea of paradise today. 8chan moved abroad specifically for this reason. By all means, please follow crackpots like Ron and Jim Watkins, where misinformation is their preferred currency.

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