Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook recently spoke against the “big tech companies” using their consumers’ privacy for profits. However, when you’re in a deal with one of the companies you just blasted, you might be on the receiving end of a few uncomfortable questions. Let us have a look into the speech and its implications in detail.
Privacy: A Cause for Concern
Tim Cook took to the stage at a privacy conference in Brussels on the 24th of October this year, where he delivered a keynote speech. In the speech, he primarily addressed the growing privacy concerns that the people are having today. In particular, he did point to the malpractices performed by certain ‘big tech companies’ for their own profits.
“We shouldn’t sugarcoat the consequences. This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them. This should make us very uncomfortable. It should unsettle us,” Cook said.
Of course, he could not directly point a finger at the companies, but the reference was more than enough. The companies he was indirectly referring to were Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Google (Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL)).
Facebook came under a major privacy storm after the revelation of its malpractices in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Although not of the same magnitude, Google has also had to deal with a privacy scandal of its own. It was revealed that Google allowed certain app developers access to the Gmail accounts of people, without their permission. Google did admit to this later, bringing it a lot of negative PR.
Cook’s Twisted Words
Hence, due to the reasons stated previously, Cook did a good job at blasting its fellow Silicon Valley companies, right? In the case of Facebook, it can be safe to assume that Cook needs to care too much. One thing we do know for sure is that Facebook doesn’t care too much about Apple anymore. In a blog post, the company gave a statement as to why it ordered its executives to stop using the products of the Cupertino giant after being accused of data malpractices by their CEO, Tim Cook.
However, this is a measure that Tim Cook might not want Google to take. This is because Apple receives billions of American dollars from Google every year. Why? According to Goldman Sachs, Google pays Apple a whopping $9 billion every year to remain the default search engine in Safari browser on iPhones. Now, how do you go on to use the search engine of a company who’s stance on privacy is completely different to yours?
Apparently, Tim Cook did have an answer to this question. He claimed that Google did indeed have, “the best search engine”. However, he did not forget to throw light on his company’s uncompromising policy regarding privacy.
He said that “Look at what we’ve done with the controls we’ve built in. We have private web browsing. We have an intelligent tracker prevention. What we’ve tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day.”
He tried to emphasise on the fact that Apple has built-in checks in their devices to make sure that their consumer’s privacy stays intact.
Apple Seems To Be Treading On the Right Line
While the companies around it are busy committing mistakes, Apple seems to be finding out ways to maximise its own profits. Its quarterly revenues have been going up consistently. But most of all, Apple has managed to maintain the exclusivity that it provides its consumers. It seems to be looking at others around it and marching forward. And that is pretty commendable in itself.