Apple CEO Blames Google, Facebook for ‘Gobbling Up’ Data Like the Government
“Our privacy is being attacked on multiple fronts,” he said, speaking remotely to EPIC event attendees in Washington, D.C. “I’m speaking to you from Silicon Valley, where some of the most prominent and successful 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. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.”
Apple is still recovering from its own privacy scandals, namely the infamous iCloud hack that exposed several female celebrities’ nude photos in 2014. But in recent years, the company has been pushing for greater security measures to better ensure consumer data is protected from advertisers and law enforcement with encryption.
“If you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it, too,” Cook said. “Criminals are using every technology tool at their disposal to hack into people’s accounts. If they know there’s a key hidden somewhere, they won’t stop until they find it.”
Cook’s comments alluded to legislators and law enforcement agencies who want devoted access to mobile devices and online services for criminal surveillance purposes. And Apple’s refusal has drawn the ire of intelligence agencies and the Justice Department’s requests to “hand over the digital keys” to encrypted devices.