Tim Cook talks about consumer privacy and why Apple takes Google's money for search on iOS



During an interview that aired on "Axiios on HBO" tonight, Apple CEO Tim Cook told reporters Ina Fried and Mike Allen that he expects legislation will eventually be passed to regulate the privacy of consumers. "I'm a big believer in the free market," the executive said, "but we have to admit when the free market's not working, and it hasn't worked here. I think it's inevitable that there will be some level of regulation."

An interesting point was made when Fried asked Cook why Apple takes Google's money to be the default search engine on iOS when the search giant makes money off of user data. Cook responded that he believes Google has the best search engine, and listed some of the things that Apple adds in iOS to protect user's privacy such as private web browsing, and intelligent tracker protection. The executive noted that "...it is not a perfect thing, I'd be the very first person to say that. But it goes a long way to helping."


The Apple CEO still appears to be excited about Augmented Reality (AR). Apple is rumored to be working on an AR based headset expected to arrive in the next one to three years. "I think in a few years, we're not going to be able to imagine our lives without [augmented reality]. It's that profound a platform," said Cook.

You can check out clips from the interview at the top of this article, and in the video directly below.

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19 Comments

1. afrohoxha

Posts: 202; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

It's not like we smell a little bit of hypocrisy in Tim Cook's words regarding this matter. Not at all.

5. splus

Posts: 132; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Little bit?? 9 billion dollars worth of hypocrisy!

17. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Well we at Apple want to come out looking and smelling like the proverbial rose. So if we can collect and use the same data, and use a fall guy like Google to look bad, and take all the heat for privacy concerns. Plus make money at the same time. We at Apple are proud of what we are doing, because the public still loves us, right? We are looking for ways to sell your mother as well, but you can still keep her.

2. Vokilam

Posts: 992; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

What a bunch of baloney. Tim Cook is a hypocrit.

3. BGChicago

Posts: 217; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

If he believed what he said, iOS was going to have a switch for every permission per every app, just like BB10 OS has. FYi, Android still doesn't have that option fully emplimented (I don't need play services to check my location every so often)

4. Vokilam

Posts: 992; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Well that, iOS does have. I can turn off access to camera even on my stock camera app. And you can definitely turn off location tracking in every app and feature of iOS.

7. mootu

Posts: 1334; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

That doesn't matter with Google apps. It was proven earlier this year that even if you turn off all tracking Google can still track a huge amount of info about the user. The apps can even be disabled, as long as they are installed on a phone they can track you, and that goes for all phones using said apps. The only way to be safe from Google tracking is to not have any installed at all on your phone.

10. Leo_MC

Posts: 6138; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The data Google collects from Apple users is not related to the iOS. For instance, Google can track the location through the public IP - Apple cannot protect it unless it implements a VPN - which would be extremely costly (imagine the cost of the servers needed to process 2 billion users worth of internet traffic), can collect traffic through ads, can collect personal interests by reading each and every (G)mail etc. Unless using Android, one can limit the amount of data one gives Google (and other companies that are mining data).

11. yalokiy

Posts: 866; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

By IP you can track location up to a city, not even a street.

16. Leo_MC

Posts: 6138; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

If you say so... Maybe in cities where everyone uses the same line.

9. worldpeace

Posts: 3077; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Xprivacy is the best for that one, not only for every permission, but for every sub-permission. There are more than 100 switch for each app that you can play with. That app is no longer in development, but it still work just fine.

6. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1190; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

We will never allow others to invade our customers' privacy. But if we are getting big money, then its OK.

15. Nimbus

Posts: 435; Member since: Apr 02, 2018

Haha that made me lol! (Read in tim cook voice.)+1 thumbs up to you. :)

18. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

It's okay because Apple is a high price pimp. That makes it all good, right?

8. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

"I'm a big believer in the free market," Yeah right, that is why they do anything technically, legally, politically possible to shut down repair shops.

12. yalokiy

Posts: 866; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

"Cook responded that he believes Google has the best search engine". Perhaps they should pay for it then, and not the opposite ?

14. foldablephone

Posts: 55; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

Google need Apple more than Apple need Google, hence why Google have to pay $9 Billion. If Apple were to ban Google apps and remove it from Safari then Google would be severely hurt considering how many iPhone users are in America and The West. Apple could swap Google for Bing in an instant even if it’s not as good.

19. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Then Apple would be brought to court, and would lose big time. Apple would be proving that they really are a dictatorship platform.

13. foldablephone

Posts: 55; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

Apple charging Google for being evil is a Good Thing. It’s basically a tax that Apple forces Google to pay for not following their privacy and humanity values. Even if Apple were to set the default search to DuckDuckGo they know that most of their consumers would simply use Google through Safari anyway. I just wish they would donate some of that money to privacy organisations and use the rest to make their own Google Rival that would also give much needed help to Siri too.

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