Tim Cook says privacy is a human right and civil liberty


Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the company's focus on privacy in an interview with Recode on Wednesday, and responded to questions about Facebook.

He goes on to admit that Apple could "make a ton of money if we monetized our customer". "We've elected not to do that", he continued. However, he went on to say: "But from our point of view, we didn't want to create this contest". "It's a civil liberty, and in something that is unique to America, this is like freedom of speech and freedom of the press and privacy is right up there for us".

Cook said it's time for regulators to step in, although he believes Facebook had a chance to avoid that.

"I wouldn't be in this situation", he said when asked what he would have done if he were in Zuckerberg's position. "However, I think we're beyond that here", said Cook. China was given the infamous title of the worst abuser of internet freedom for a third year in a row, due to government censorship and restrictions of basic online services and an nearly complete lack of digital privacy. In 2016, the US Department of Justice had ordered Apple to create a custom firmware that would allow investigators to circumvent the company's security features. Facebook has been caught in a medial maelstrom over its lax approach to data sharing; specifically over the Cambridge Analytica issue, through which it was recently revealed that Facebook users' data was being used by the firm with the intent to influence the 2016 USA election.

"I think it's their decision". "I wouldn't be in this situation", he replied, hinting that Zuckerberg had made mistakes.

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"At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people and setting a unsafe precedent that threatens everyone's civil liberties", he continued.

In 2014 when Facebook was the golden child of the tech industry, Apple in an open letter to its customers had said, "When an online service is free". Lawmakers have also floated tougher rules on the company and two Congressional committees have formally invited the Facebook CEO to testify.

Revolution: Apple Changing the World airs at 8 PM ET, April 6 on MSNBC.

What do you think of Tim Cook's comments?