Tim Cook Talks Customer Privacy with NPR

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently sat down with NPR to discuss government data requests, customer privacy, and tax reform. “We think that our customers want us to help them keep their data safe,” said Cook. He declared that “encryption is a must,” and that he is adamantly against including backdoors, because “any backdoor means a backdoor for good guys as well a bad guys. A backdoor means we’re all not safe.”

In the interview Cook made it clear that he regards privacy as a fundamental human righ and that for Apple, customer privacy is about the values of the company, not marketability, “We do think that people have a right to privacy and that our customers are not our products.” Yes, Apple knows a lot about you, but it's not using it like the NSA. Cook points out that there is a large difference between knowing which apps you’ve purchased in order to provide suggestions for others apps you might like and using keywords to search through your emails for marketing products within other applications. For example, “if you’re in our News app and you’re reading something, we don’t think that in the news app that we should know what you did with us on the music app.”

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Cook also spoke on manufacturing goods overseas and how the current tax laws prevents money from re-entering the United States, “the reason we have a lot of money overseas is because two-thirds of our sales are overseas... and the tax law we have today is very archaic; it doesn’t allow you to bring back your money unless you pay tax both internationally and then pay the full tax domestically as well. We need a comprehensive tax reform.”

Lastly the interviewer asked, “Is there going to be an Apple Car?”

“Do you have another question?” Cook replied with a laugh as he diverted the conversation to Apple’s recent releases like the new Apple TV.


Top Image Credit: AR Pictures / Shutterstock.com

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Conner Carey holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. When she's not writing, you can find her singing jazz or lifting weights. Her personal blog is currently under construction, but you can follow her on Instagram @connerleecarey.