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Apple CEO Tim Cook says that iPhone users need to put the device down


You don't often hear the CEO of a tech company tell customers to put down the firm's major product. But that is what happened today with Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was speaking at the TIME 100 Summit. The conference allows those attending to hear from the most influential people. Among those speaking today were Cook, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, MeToo founder Tarana Burke, television producer Ryan Murphy, entrepreneur Tyra Banks, and more.

During Cook's time in front of the microphone, the executive mentioned that Apple never created the iPhone to be used constantly. "Apple never wanted to maximize user time. We’ve never been about that," Cook stated, and he pointed out that he has silenced his own push notifications. Considering that the iPhone users can opt-in to receive notifications about any number of things at any time, we wonder what Apple's true intentions were. Still, this isn't the first time that Cook has commented on his own personal iPhone use.

Last June, on the opening day of Apple's 2018 developers conference, the company unveiled Screen Time, the iOS feature that measures how long someone uses their iPhone and certain apps on the device. That day, Cook told CNN that before running Screen Time, he considered himself a disciplined iPhone user. After tracking his usage with Screen Time, he realized that he was wrong.

Cook says that mainstream America is now more concerned with privacy

Cook also discussed another hot button topic, online privacy. He said that regulations to protect those who browse the web and visit apps are more likely to surface in Europe than in the U.S. The executive called Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) "a step in the right direction." Under the draconian rules adopted by the EU last year, any personal data  created by an online user cannot be used by any company without the consent of the user. A company that fails to adhere to these regulations can be fined as much as €20 million or 4% of the previous year's global revenue, whichever is higher. Using Facebook as an example, if the company were to receive the maximum punishment under GDPR this year (keep in mind that this is a hypothetical situation), it would be fined $2.2 billion based on the better than $58 billion that the company grossed in 2018. Cook says that regulations similar to GDPR could eventually be found in the U.S.

Apple's CEO added that he believes that mainstream America is more concerned with privacy than it was back in 2016. Early that year, the FBI demanded that Apple unlock an iPhone 5c that belonged to deceased San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. Apple failed to abide by a court ruling that demanded that the phone be unlocked, fearing that if it made a special version of iOS to unlock Farook's phone, the software could leak. And if that software (dubbed Govt. OS) leaked, any iPhone could be unlocked. Cook called the government's action in demanding that Apple unlock Farook's phone "not its finest hour." The FBI eventually used a third party device to unlock the iPhone 5c and found nothing related to the shooting.

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