Apple, for the most part, is in a different line of business: it makes the vast majority of its money selling hardware, software and services to its customers.
“You have more information in your devices than in your own home,” Cook said last year. “All of this information that is out there is too much. It is just too much. It should not exist.”
He’s also said that privacy is a basic human right. That’s why, he claims, Apple decided data collection was against its values and the company sought a different business model for its advertising business.
Apple also strongly chastised other tech companies at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. It placed a billboard in Las Vegas reading “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”
Last year, Bloomberg reported the Chinese government secretly placed data collection chips in Apple hardware. Cook said there was “no truth” to the report.
And in August, Apple apologized for letting contractors listen to commands that users give to its voice assistant Siri. The practice, which is designed to improve Siri’s quality, came under scrutiny after The Guardian reported that contractors could hear users’ private conversations. Apple responded by saying it would no longer keep audio recordings of users’ interactions with Siri.
Google, Facebook and Amazon have also faced similar criticism for how they store recordings on its smart devices.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg also outlined a new privacy focus in April. He said that going forward the company is focusing on private interactions, encryption, reduced permanence and secure data storage.
“Over the next few years we are going to build more of our services around these ideas,” said Zuckerberg. “This isn’t just about building features — we need to change a lot of the different ways that we run this company today.”