Tim Cook is concerned that slow erosion of privacy is a big danger

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple CEO Tim Cook worries that a slow loss of privacy in today's world will gradually train people and coerce them into acting differently as they adjust to a new normal.




Apple's CEO spoke about the fears he holds in a landscape where devices are progressively better at tracking its users. His remarks were made at the Time100 summit, on Tuesday.

"If we begin to feel that we're being surveilled all the time, our behavior changes. We begin to do less. We begin to think about things less. We begin to modify how we think," said Cook in the panel. "In a world like that where we're restraining ourselves, it changes society in a major way."

Cook said that while he is concerned about the future of privacy, he remains optimistic. He described how Apple is in effect providing tools to help users secure their own data and private lifestyle.

Apple, under Cook's leadership, has continued what Steve Jobs started. In the last few years, the company has put a marketing focus on the privacy the Apple ecosystem offers.

A recent example is series of ads highlighting how the iPhone protects user data.

Apple is one of the few big tech companies that had not pursued a business model where personal data is used to drive profit. While Apple does collect user data to train its machine-learning models, it uses the data fully anonymized, stripping it of all personal information.

Cook believes, and has said repeatedly, that giving up some privacy in highly-specific ways in certain settings might be beneficial. However, he ultimately argues that people should have ownership of their data and to be able to keep it private.

"It's tough to say that a company or anyone for that matter, should be able to step in and on an uninformed basis vacuum up your data," Cook added, "That's a large concern of mine."

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,856member
    He’s absolutely right. More and more I hear people saying that “they know everything about us anyway so why worry about” Google, Facebook, the police, etc., etc. It’s very disconcerting. And I’m afraid that I’m not as optimistic as TC is though. I was shocked how easily people accepted pat downs, x-rays, and searches in order to fly on an airliner. “But it’s for safety” was the BS they used and everyone ate it up and asked for seconds. All it takes is for someone in authority to say the words “safety” or “protect the children” and people seem eager to give up their personal freedoms, and human rights. That’s how they are attacking things like encryption.

    I find it very depressing.
    edited June 2022 auxionewisneverenoughdewmedarkvaderwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    mikethemartianmikethemartian Posts: 1,428member
    DAalseth said:
    He’s absolutely right. More and more I hear people saying that “they know everything about us anyway so why worry about” Google, Facebook, the police, etc., etc. It’s very disconcerting. And I’m afraid that I’m not as optimistic as TC is though. I was shocked how easily people accepted pat downs, x-rays, and searches in order to fly on an airliner. “But it’s for safety” was the BS they used and everyone ate it up and asked for seconds. All it takes is for someone in authority to say the words “safety” or “protect the children” and people seem eager to give up their personal freedoms, and human rights. That’s how they are attacking things like encryption.

    I find it very depressing.
    If you aren’t happy with the restrictions placed upon you to fly in a private company’s airliner then take general aviation.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 12
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,269member
    "Slow erosion"? It's actually happening pretty fast, especially with all the countries demanding Apple open up everything. 
    newisneverenoughsconosciutodewmemacseekerwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    MrBunsideMrBunside Posts: 59member
    Add it to the list...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    He’s right. At least there’s one prominent corporate leader saying this out loud, and actually doing something about it in popular products, for large numbers of people. 
    sconosciutowilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    sconosciutosconosciuto Posts: 281member
    DAalseth said:
    He’s absolutely right. More and more I hear people saying that “they know everything about us anyway so why worry about” Google, Facebook, the police, etc., etc. It’s very disconcerting. And I’m afraid that I’m not as optimistic as TC is though. I was shocked how easily people accepted pat downs, x-rays, and searches in order to fly on an airliner. “But it’s for safety” was the BS they used and everyone ate it up and asked for seconds. All it takes is for someone in authority to say the words “safety” or “protect the children” and people seem eager to give up their personal freedoms, and human rights. That’s how they are attacking things like encryption.

    I find it very depressing.
    I hope you didn't injure your wrist as you struggled to shoehorn your agenda into Tim's speech, which had little to do with TSA security theater.
    edited June 2022 beowulfschmidtwilliamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 12
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,287member
    The coming ubiquitous surveillance state. 
    DAalsethwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
    hexclock said:
    The coming ubiquitous surveillance state. 
    it's arrived. I lived in Europe in 2021. It's fairly ubiquitous there and I'm not even getting into the Green Pass business. Cameras are not universal but they sure are widespread. Some of them are for traffic control (limited transit zones for instance) but there's also cameras that are specifically intended to monitor high pedestrian traffic areas. In my country, tax evasion is so rampant that the government is slowly but surely moving to make use of cash difficult for everything but ordinary daily transactions.

    But it's in the US too... don't think the NSA isn't horking up every bit of data they can about your communications and movements thanks to your smartphone/cellphone. Just look at what Snowden revealed... they can tiptoe right up to the line and still collect a lot of information about you without violating your 4th Amendment rights. When you drive on an urban freeway in the US, cameras are present to monitor traffic. A lot of your neighbors have Ring doorbells, those are effectively surveilling a significant part of your neighborhood for better or for worse.
    edited June 2022 DAalsethdarkvaderwilliamlondonhexclockwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    beowulfschmidtbeowulfschmidt Posts: 2,246member
    He's right, it's a huge issue.  However, as long as the Boards of Directors of Apple and other companies are so greedy that they're willing to kiss a government's ass to sell in that country, he's pretty much powerless to do anything about it.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 12
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,153member
    "the company has put a marketing focus on the privacy"  

    "
    Apple, under Cook's leadership, has continued what Steve Jobs started." ...or perhaps monetizing what Steve Jobs started...?

    "
    Cook believes, and has said repeatedly, that giving up some privacy in highly-specific ways in certain settings might be beneficial."

    So certain types of data mining is OK...?

    Opt in for quid pro quo for certain functionality, like trading location data to allow remote iOS data wiping via Find My iPhone ?  Could wiping be designed without always on location data being sent to Apple ?  

    And while personal choices may offer some gatekeeping, others may still enter one's contact data/picture, birthday, notes, tagged photos and other information to being sync in iCloud (or social media) without one's knowledge or permission...

    Is the question of a single hack attack vector by design also relevant ?

    Should AI and a derivative data markets be just as big a concern as more direct identifiable data sales...?  Is it also worth remembering that Apple has a key to every iCloud account...?

    ... for further consideration on 'who decides who decides': 
    shoshanazuboff.com/book/recent-work/
    edited June 2022
  • Reply 11 of 12
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,904member
    Until he admits that Trojan horses like COVID tracking are part of that problem, or that location services is abused, he is contributing to the problem. 
  • Reply 12 of 12
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,901member
    DAalseth said:
    He’s absolutely right. More and more I hear people saying that “they know everything about us anyway so why worry about” Google, Facebook, the police, etc., etc. It’s very disconcerting. And I’m afraid that I’m not as optimistic as TC is though. I was shocked how easily people accepted pat downs, x-rays, and searches in order to fly on an airliner. “But it’s for safety” was the BS they used and everyone ate it up and asked for seconds. All it takes is for someone in authority to say the words “safety” or “protect the children” and people seem eager to give up their personal freedoms, and human rights. That’s how they are attacking things like encryption.

    I find it very depressing.
    Really, now.  So you mean it should be okay for airline passengers to bring concealed firearms into the plane?  How about plastic explosives  wrapped around their waist?  You do remember that the 9/11 terrorists used box cutters that they brought with them, don't you?

    There are reasonable and unreasonable security measures and sometimes it's hard to draw the line.  Banning box cutters, reasonable.  Nail clippers, unreasonable and eventually that restriction was dropped.  Most people would say your stance about the TSA crossed the line of reason about 2 miles back.


    edited June 2022
Sign In or Register to comment.