Category Archives: Tim Cook

Apple briefs Congress in its continuing effort to promote its privacy credentials


Politico reports that Apple briefed a Congressional committee on the security and privacy of its products following concerns raised by the celebrity nudes story.

A week after Apple rolled out new products that track users’ health and fitness, the company dispatched its executives to Capitol Hill to address emerging privacy and security concerns [...]

Bud Tribble, the company’s chief technology officer, and Afshad Mistri, its health product manager, briefed the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to three congressional sources.

Apple is clearly focusing on communicating its commitment to securing user data, Tim Cook yesterday publishing a letter on the company’s website addressing the issue. Apple also added a new webpage specifically focusing on the security credentials of iOS, OS X and its cloud services.

While it now appears clear that the methods used to obtain celebrity nudes from iCloud were a combination of phishing and weak security questions rather than any fundamental weakness in the service itself, Apple will be keenly aware that perceptions matter as much as, if not more than, facts.

Photo credit: wikipedia

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Apple privacy, Bud Tribble, Capitol Hill, celebrity nudes, icloud, iCloud hack, iCloud privacy, iCloud security, iOS, iPhone, privacy, Security, Tim Cook, United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce

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Tim Cook reiterates commitment to user privacy and security in letter on Apple website, launches new security page



As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook has published a letter (below) on the company’s website expressing his commitment to the privacy and security of iOS and Mac users. Cook says that he will now issue annual updates on how user data is being handled, and the company will become even more transparent how its data collection tactics.

The executive also reiterated previous claims that neither he nor any part of the company has collaborated with governments to provide access to user information, noting again that Apple does not read users’ email, iMessages, and other communications. He also pointed out that there is no “profile” being created about user browsing habits or other data points that often interest advertisers.

The company also added a new “built-in security” page to its website which explains all of the measures put in place to keep user data private. It includes information about the security protecting iMessage, FaceTime, iCloud, Safari, Maps, Siri, Mail, the App Store, the new Health application, HomeKit, Spotlight, and the upcoming Apple Pay system.

Other new information added to the company’s privacy page include a page on managing your privacy through Apple’s software and a revamped page about government data requests.

Tim Cook’s full message is below:


A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy.

At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That’s why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.

We believe in telling you up front exactly what’s going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us. And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.

We’re publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don’t collect, and why. We’re going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

One very small part of our business does serve advertisers, and that’s iAd. We built an advertising network because some app developers depend on that business model, and we want to support them as well as a free iTunes Radio service. iAd sticks to the same privacy policy that applies to every other Apple product. It doesn’t get data from Health and HomeKit, Maps, Siri, iMessage, your call history, or any iCloud service like Contacts or Mail, and you can always just opt out altogether.

Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.

Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: iOS, Mac, OS X, privacy, Security, Tim Cook

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Part two of Charlie Rose’s Tim Cook interview now available to stream in full

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Following the publishing of the first half of the interview, and several subsequent clips, part two Charlie Rose’s full interview with Tim Cook is now available to watch – in full – on Hulu (below) and Charlie Roses’s website. In the interview, Cook discusses a wide variety of topics, ranging from privacy, to U2, and “what comes after the internet.”

Regarding privacy, Cook remarked that he believes that government currently falls too close to the “collect everything” model than they should, but also how he thinks that the President and his administration are working hard to “move that pendulum back.” Cook also talked about many of the values that he instills in Apple as CEO, including “treating people with dignity” and treating everyone equally, “regardless of their color, religion, sexual orientation, or gender.”

Following the discussion on equality and Martin Luther King, Cook went on to talk about how environmentally conscious Apple has become, remarking that they “want to leave the earth better than it was found.” Cook also discussed how Apple has removed all toxins from its products and that it has been the only consumer electronics company to do so.

When asked about Apple being one of the largest companies in the world and having more than $100 billion in the bank, Cook replied that he doesn’t like to think about everything in a monetary sense, but rather likes to wonder how the company is enriching the lives of people and solving problems.  Cook credited Steve Jobs for putting these values deep into Apple a long time ago and added that they will be the values of Apple for a long time to come.

Finally, Cook talked about how the partnership between Apple and U2 came about, remarking that the album is “killer” and that they were “thrilled” with it. Cook said that Apple wanted to give something back its customers, which led to giving the album away for free.

During part one of the interview, Cook talked about ideas behind the Apple Watch, Apple’s partnership with IBM, purchasing Beats, and how he and Steve Jobs discussed him becoming CEO.

You can stream part two of the interview below:

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Charlie Rose, Cook, IBM, iPhone, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook

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Tim Cook talks privacy in part two of Charlie Rose interview

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The first clip of part two of Tim Cook’s interview with Charlie Rose has posted tonight with a segment on Apple and privacy. In the interview, Cook discussed the privacy of user data using Apple services as Apple has mentioned in the past.

We’re not reading your email, we’re not reading your iMessages. If the government laid a subpoena on us to get your iMessages, we can’t provide it. It’s encrypted and we don’t have the key.

Cook also discussed how Apple’s approach to Apple Pay, its new mobile payment system, emphasizing that Apple is in the business of selling iPhones, not user information like other companies. Cook commented strongly that he is “offended” by the practices of some other companies. The shot at Google, which Cook stated is his idea of Apple’s competition in the part one with Charlie Rose, was mentioned similarly during last week’s iPhone event. Cook also discussed earlier privacy issues involving “server backdoors” and Edward Snowden. You can view the new clip below…

Part one of Tim Cook’s interview with Charlie Rose is available online through Hulu. Part two of Cook’s Charlie Rose appearance is expected to air tonight.

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Charlie Rose, edward snowden, Google, interview, NSA, privacy, Tim Cook

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