Tim Cook Speaks on Privacy in New Interview: 'We Try Not to Collect Data'

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke with Charlie Rose in a two part-interview, and the second segment of the show is airing tonight. In the second half of the interview, Cook focuses on the driving force behind Apple, his own personal values, and the company's thoughts on privacy.

Cook's first comments are on Apple's privacy views, and he says that the company tries to collect as little data about its users as possible. He believes that people "have a right to privacy."

Our view is that when we design a new service we try not to collect data. So we're not reading your email. We're not reading your iMessage. If the government laid a subpoena on us to get your iMessages, we can't provide it. It's encrypted and we don't have a key.

Our business is based on selling [products]. Our business is not based on having information about you. You are not our product.

As he has stated previously, Cook says that no one has backdoor access to Apple's servers. "We would never allow that to happen," he says, repeating his prior statement on the issue. "They would have to cart us out in a box before we would do that."

On his values, Tim Cook says that he believes in treating all people with dignity, regardless of color, religion sexual orientation, and gender. "Everyone deserves respect." Cook goes on to comment on the driving force behind Apple, which he says is a goal to enrich people's lives and change the world, not to be the largest company.

You know, I was at -- I was at Compaq at a time where the objective was to become a $40 billion company. Well, employees don't get excited about that. This isn't something you wake up and you go, "I'm going to take the hill today to do 40" -- I mean, you know? It's just not that. But changing the world? These are the things that people work for. And this pushes people. And so, this is who we are as people. And it's the values of our company. It's been the values of our company forever. And it's to Steve's credit. He put these values in the company... I know I probably said it too many times, but it's a privilege of a lifetime to be there, because I think there's no place like it on Earth."

The first part of the Charlie Rose interview aired on Friday, with Tim Cook speaking about Steve Jobs' continued influence on Apple Products, the company's thoughts on the Apple TV, and the decision to buy Beats Electronics.

During the first half of the interview, Tim Cook also said that Apple is working on products that "no one knows about" and that "haven't been rumored about yet," noting that some of the products may go on to be released while others will be shelved.

Tim Cook's full commentary on Apple and privacy issues will be available when the complete second part of the interview airs later tonight on PBS.

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Top Rated Comments

Traverse Avatar
127 months ago
You should have no expectation of privacy for anything that goes to any cloud or server.

That being said, I do trust Apple more than most companies. With their stance on privacy up to this point, I feel they've earned that. Still, the only things that are truly private are those stored in an offline, password protected device or your mind.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hlfway2anywhere Avatar
127 months ago
We don't read your iMessage... But they will be analysing it in the watch... They showed that.

different context. the OS analyzes in order to use quicktype
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
127 months ago
I really enjoyed part I of the interview. Cook comes across as very focused and genuine. I'm looking forward to part II.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kre62 Avatar
127 months ago
Why? Apple is part of the NSA PRISM program:

Image (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/PRISM_Collection_Details.jpg)

Just because some powerpoint monkey threw Apples name on a slide it doesn't mean they were successful in obtaining or using any of Apples data.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SockRolid Avatar
127 months ago
Our business is based on selling [products]. Our business is not based on having information about you. You are not our product.

Apple: "We are not in the business of collecting your data." - Eddie Cue, 9/9/2014

Google: [awkward fidgeting, crickets ...]
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newagemac Avatar
127 months ago
The easiest way to not cooperate with prying government agencies is not even having the data they want in the first place. Because they can't give them what they don't have. All we all know Google is better than any company at collecting people's private data. This is the fundamental difference between Apple and Google as a company when it comes your privacy.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)