Apple CEO Tim Cook recently spoke at the virtual Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection conference criticizing the business model of companies like Facebook and about the tech giant’s commitment to improving user privacy and giving users more control over their data.
Cook discussed the dangers of business models that rely on collecting personal data from users. Though Cook did not mention Facebook by name, recent events between the two companies give us a good idea about who he was talking about.
Apple CEO Tim Cook implies that Facebook’s business model translates to real-world violence
Discussing the risks of businesses that collect personal user information, Cook said, “At a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement — the longer the better — and all with the goal of collecting as much data as possible.”
Cook went on to highlight Apple’s promise to protect user privacy by highlighting two recent privacy measures that the company has taken, including privacy labels in the App Store and App Tracking Transparency which will be launched with the next iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14 betas.
“At Apple, we made our choice a long time ago. We believe that ethical technology is technology that works for you. It’s technology that helps you sleep, not keeps you up. It tells you when you’ve had enough, it gives you space to create, or draw, or write or learn, not refresh just one more time. It’s technology that can fade into the background when you’re on a hike or going for a swim but is there to warn you when your heart rate spikes or help you when you’ve had a nasty fall. And with all of this, always, it’s privacy and security first, because no-one needs to trade away the rights of their users to deliver a great product.”
On an earnings call yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Apple’s privacy claims are often misleading and self-serving. In addition to this, Zuckerberg said that the tech giant’s new privacy policies intend to get rid of competition as the policies put Apple’s first-party apps at a huge advantage with private APIs and special permissions that third-party apps will never have access to.
“Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own. And this impacts the growth of millions of businesses around the world.
Including — with the upcoming iOS 14 changes, many small businesses will no longer be able to reach their customers with targeted ads. Now, Apple may say that they’re doing this to help people, but the moves clearly track their competitive interests.”
Check out the virtual Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection conference keynote below: