In a blistering speech given to the Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that many successful Silicon Valley companies have “built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information.”
“They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong,” he said. “And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be. So we don’t want your data.”
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 22: Apple CEO Tim Cook holds the new iPad Air during an Apple announcement at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California. The tech giant announced its new iPad Air, a new iPad mini with Retina display, OS X Mavericks and highlighted its Mac Pro. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
There has been some speculation that Cook was specifically referring to tech giants Google and Facebook, though he never mentioned them by name. Cook delivered his remarks remotely after being given EPIC’s Freedom Award.
“We don’t think they’re worth have your email or your search history or now even your family photos data-mined and sold-off for God-knows-what advertising purpose," Cook continued, according to Mashable.
He apparently isn't even a fan of companies leaving a "backdoor" open for law enforcement agencies to utilize because it makes the data inherently less secure. He broke it down like this:
"If you put a key under a mat just for the cops, a burglar can find it, too," said Cook. "Criminals are using every technology tool at their disposal to hack into people’s accounts. If they know there is a key hidden somewhere, they won’t stop until they find it."
Further, such practices can have a “chilling effect on our first amendment rights, and undermine our county’s founding principles,” the Apple boss added.
Many online-based companies, including Facebook and Google, “frequently use anonymized data to deliver targeted advertising,” Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff reported.