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Apple CEO Tim Cook: Privacy is a 'fundamental human right'

Tim Cook at his Senate HearingBloombergTim Cook at his Senate hearing in 2013.

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with NPR to talk about privacy, and described it as a “fundamental human right.” The comments come after Apple updated its website to make its stance on privacy clearer, something Cook describes as “a values point” not “a commercial interest.”

Corporations have come under intense scrutiny when dealing with government requests, especially in relation to handing over private messages. Cook told NPR that “the government comes to us from time to time, and if they ask in a way that is correct, and has been through the courts as is required, then to the degree that we have information, we give that information.”

Cook also took a jab at Google, specifically its advertising practises which some users see as invasive, although he didn’t mention the company by name. “We [Apple] don’t collect a lot of your data and understand every detail about your life,” he said. “That’s just not the business that we are in.”

Apple is making a big play for the privacy aspect of providing online services, setting itself up against Google and Facebook. While the view is clearly something Cook feels passionately about, Apple is in the unique position of not earning most of its money from selling personalised ads on the internet which require a degree on knowledge about the user. This means that the company can easily bash the online giants.

The interview also briefly touched upon Apple’s rumoured “Project Titan,” an electric car that would rival Tesla. Of course, Cook gave nothing away simply stating that he had read all of the news reports but Apple is focused on its existing line of products.

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