Tim Cook Just Called Digital Privacy ‘A Crisis,’ But Apple Profits From User Data, Too Tim Cook Just Called Digital Privacy ‘A Crisis,’ But Apple Profits From User Data, Too – NTK Network

Tim Cook Just Called Digital Privacy ‘A Crisis,’ But Apple Profits From User Data, Too

"Every day, billions of dollars change hands, and countless decisions are made, on the basis of our 'likes' and dislikes,” Cook lamented during a speech in Brussels.

By NTK Staff | 10.24.2018 @1:30pm
Tim Cook Just Called Digital Privacy ‘A Crisis,’ But Apple Profits From User Data, Too

Apple CEO Tim Cook made early-morning headlines Wednesday with a searing speech in Brussels aimed at fellow tech giants Google and Facebook.

Cook’s main line of attack is that user privacy is at a crisis point, and that companies who exchange money for information should be more heavily regulated.

“Every day, billions of dollars change hands, and countless decisions are made, on the basis of our ‘likes’ and dislikes. … These scraps of data — each one harmless enough on its own — are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded, and sold.”

But what Cook didn’t mention at the International Conference of Data Protection & Privacy Commissioners was that Apple, too, profits from user data. The Washington Post dispelled several “myths” about the Cupertino-based company last week, and No. 2 on the list was the misconception that “Apple doesn’t profit from its users’ personal information.”

Cook went to great lengths Wednesday to separate Apple from a company like Google, but in fact it accepts billions of dollars from Google so that the search engine remains the default on Apple products, thereby giving Google access to Apple product users:

But a recent Goldman Sachs report estimated that Google will pay Apple $12 billion next year to remain the default search engine on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. Let’s be clear: The only reason Google would be willing to fork over a sum anywhere in that range is because targeting Apple fans with ads is so profitable. Apple is making a tremendous amount of money from the tracking of its customers’ search results; it has merely rented the right to scrutinize users to a third party.

Cook may get away with his high-horse pronouncements in the short term, particularly since it’s much simpler for users to understand how Google serves them ads. But Apple is not immune to criticisms regarding profiting from user data, and that’s likely an issue that will only get more attention as Cook continues his privacy crusade.

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