Tim Cook talks consumer privacy, diversity and Apple philosophy in interview

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2014
In the second segment of a two-part interview with Charlie Rose, Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses privacy issues, workplace diversity, Apple's driving philosophy and the company's tie-up with rock band U2.




Among the wide-ranging topics, Cook said Apple's business is not based on gathering consumer information, as with other companies like Google, but selling products like the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

"Our business is not based on having information about you. You're not our product," Cook said, adding, "Our product are these, and this watch, and Macs and so forth. And so we run a very different company. I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they're making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried."

Cook goes on to detail his ideals on diversity in the workplace, saying everyone should be treated with respect. The CEO's statements come one month after Apple released a report on employee diversity, which highlighted a preponderance of white male workers.

"Treating people with dignity. Treating people the same. That everyone deserves a basic level of human rights, regardless of their color, regardless of their religion, regardless of their sexual orientation, regardless of their gender. That everyone deserves respect. And, you know, I'll fight for it until my toes point out," Cook said.



As for the now notorious U2 album, which Apple pushed out to iTunes users for free last week, Cook's said the focus was on giving back to iTunes users. The brief mention was filmed before it was discovered that Apple linked U2's new "Songs of Innocence" LP to user accounts, prompting the company to launched an opt-out webpage on Monday.

"Some may not love it. I hope they all do. But it was more about our customers," Cook said of the album. "And so, it felt great to participate in something that's music history -- one of the largest album releases ever. But the real thing was giving something to our users."

Rose first sat down with the Apple chief last week, covering upcoming products like the Apple TV to the recently announced iPhone lineup.

The final segment of Cook's interview will air Monday night on PBS and will replay Tuesday on Bloomberg TV at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern. In addition to Cook, Rose sits down with designer Yves Behar, who recently took on the role of chief creative officer at Jawbone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    I think he's right that we need to be concerned about companies (Google) that make all their money out of collecting private data. I just wish there were more tech companies who had the same philosophy as Apple and that more consumers realised the risks associated with trusting corporations like Google...
  • Reply 2 of 49
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,090member
    Very well stated by Cook. Love that he made it crystal clear that one should follow the money, and look into a company's business model to gauge their interest in your personal data. I know how Apple makes their billions. And it's not through selling my info. It's all about motivation.
  • Reply 3 of 49

    Slap those who criticize Tim.  

    Tim is a great leader. And a greatest leader is growing in him.

  • Reply 4 of 49
    Mr. Cook, I like the numerous Apple owners who purchase Apple products, believe that your computers/software, your mentality, your culture, and your ethics are something that can relate to. However, being part of the ever growing number of people experiencing hardware failure with their MacBook pros from 2011, your silence on this issue does not support this belief. http://www.change.org/p/timothy-d-cook-replace-or-fix-all-2011-macbook-pro-with-graphics-failure - I spent $2500 on a superior machine that I knew would last a long time, one that I could depend on just like other Apple products I own and have owned. To have it fail, and for the issue to be so wide-spread makes me, and all the others suffering feel cheated. Please Mr. Cook don't let this change the way we feel about Apple. We are the pro's, and we are the power users who create the word of mouth Buzz that makes Apple such a success. Please don't fail us.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    They collect data, but its more like the weather report than a political prognostication. It helps Siri or Messages (on the %uF8FFWatch) return better replies, although Siri made need some more help with that, not that I am mad about it. I like that you pay Apple for the product and that is the end of that.

    I don't get with the Google and for the most part Facebook philosophy that makes us all into the product that they sell to people who they will not even tell us who they are. Targeted ads suck mightily, so does Netflix with their targeted movies. But that could be because I am so not cooperative with that way to do business.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    Slap those who criticize Tim.  
    Tim is a great leader. And a greatest leader is growing in him.
    Yep. If I hear one more person opine on what they think Steve would have done I think I'm going to vomit. Steve wouldn't have released a phone in two screen sizes. Steve wouldn't have released a watch in multiple different designs. Steve would've blown up the credit card industry (like he didn't do with the music industry?) blah blah blah. Vomit.

    It just blows my mind that people who never worked with Steve, were not friends with him and probably didn't even know him that well seem to think they know better what he would do than the executives at Apple who worked with him for 15 years.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    wisdomseed wrote: »
    They collect data, but its more like the weather report than a political prognostication. It helps Siri or Messages (on the %uF8FFWatch) return better replies, although Siri made need some more help with that, not that I am mad about it. I like that you pay Apple for the product and that is the end of that.

    I don't get with the Google and for the most part Facebook philosophy that makes us all into the product that they sell to people who they will not even tell us who they are. Targeted ads suck mightily, so does Netflix with their targeted movies. But that could be because I am so not cooperative with that way to do business.

    With quick type on iOS 8 Craig Federighi said the processing is done locally on the device. My guess is the same thing is happening with the watch.
  • Reply 8 of 49

    I believe it is, but at the same time they could be, and possibly should be, comparing anonymous responses to come to the better conclusion. I know that my phone has 'learned' based on which letter I type first in an onboard search, which is the most likely answer to my query. That is cool. But all of a sudden it is doing the craziest fill ins with typing, which can be exasperating.

  • Reply 9 of 49

    "Follow the money."

     

    No truer three words have been spoken in business or in politics.

  • Reply 10 of 49
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post



    Very well stated by Cook. Love that he made it crystal clear that one should follow the money, and look into a company's business model to gauge their interest in your personal data. I know how Apple makes their billions. And it's not through selling my info. It's all about motivation.



    All good points to be sure.  To be play devil's advocate, investing in Apple's products based on your comments is great if you can afford to do so.  But what about "the next billion" or so people, who can't afford iPhones or the data plans associated with them, who want to participate on the Internet and get connected.  This is where an initiative like Android One has great potential.

     

    Yes, the trade-off for these users is that their information will be sold for advertising purposes but they at least get a chance to participate. That alone can be worth it.

  • Reply 11 of 49
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,905member
    canukstorm wrote: »

    All good points to be sure.  To be play devil's advocate, investing in Apple's products based on your comments is great if you can afford to do so.  But what about "the next billion" or so people, who can't afford iPhones or the data plans associated with them, who want to participate on the Internet and get connected.  This is where an initiative like Android One has great potential.

    Yes, the trade-off for these users is that their information will be sold for advertising purposes but they at least get a chance to participate. That alone can be worth it.

    You can sell one of your kidneys too but it isn't wise.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    You can sell one of your kidneys too but it isn't wise.



    Well, yes, but I think it's safe to say there's a big difference between your kidneys and personal information.

  • Reply 13 of 49
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Bull sheet. He should have given us an album of our choice. Tired of this corporate double speak. Like when he gives away a gift card discount on Black Friday. Like what is that?
  • Reply 14 of 49
    lolliver wrote: »
    I think he's right that we need to be concerned about companies (Google) that make all their money out of collecting private data. I just wish there were more tech companies who had the same philosophy as Apple and that more consumers realised the risks associated with trusting corporations like Google...

    Apple: we don't sell your data, because others do.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    canukstorm wrote: »
    All good points to be sure.  To be play devil's advocate, investing in Apple's products based on your comments is great if you can afford to do so.  But what about "the next billion" or so people, who can't afford iPhones or the data plans associated with them, who want to participate on the Internet and get connected.  This is where an initiative like Android One has great potential.

    Yes, the trade-off for these users is that their information will be sold for advertising purposes but they at least get a chance to participate. That alone can be worth it.

    Tell me, what is the benefit of giving phones to people who are unable to pay for the items advertised on it?
  • Reply 16 of 49
    It was a real dumbass move to push U2 onto every iTunes user and then claim that this was a historic album release. It's no better than a newspaper including a free supplement CD.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    Um...the people who can't buy the current generation tech from apple can buy much less expensive refurbs from the trade ins that happen every upgrade cycle.

    And the older phones keep working and keep getting cheaper.

    And they don't give up any personal data.
  • Reply 18 of 49
    Wonderful. More pandering to Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton et al is in order for Tim Cook's Apple.

    "Treating people the same" - unless you're a white male. Then it's S.O.L.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    Wonderful. More pandering to Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton et al is in order for Tim Cook's Apple.

    "Treating people the same" - unless you're a white male. Then it's S.O.L.
    Oh, so you are the cantankerous old white guy people are laughing at.
  • Reply 20 of 49
    "Follow the money."

    No truer three words have been spoken in business or in politics.

    That's what the herd do; they follow.

    Apple is above that. Their motivation is excellence, not money.
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