Tim Cook has previously spoken against companies like Facebook and Google. Companies that collect, save and use user data to sell advertising. But at the same time, Apple also has a healthy relationship with Google where it accepts billions of dollars from Google for making it the default search engine in Safari.
In a recent interview on Axios on HBO, Tim Cook opened up about this issue. When it comes to default search engines, it’s all about the merit.
“I think their search engine is the best,” Cook said. And as far as the privacy issues are concerned, Tim feels confident that Apple is doing enough with Safari to stop Google from tracking Apple users.
“Look at what we’ve done with the controls we’ve built in. We have private web browsing. We have an intelligent tracker prevention. What we’ve tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day. It’s not a perfect thing. I’d be the very first person to say that. But it goes a long way to helping.”
Here, Tim is talking about tracking prevention software that is enabled by default in Safari. It stops websites from saving cookies on the device. This means that Google or Facebook don’t have access to your entire history and can’t track you as you browse the web.
It’s surprising to see Tim Cook being so open about providing a direct answer. You don’t usually get that with Apple PR. On face value, Tim is right. Google is the best search engine. Bing and DuckDuckGo are way behind.
But it’s clear that it’s not the only deciding factor for Google Search being the default. Apple could easily make DuckDuckGo the default. And you can make the argument that if privacy is the top priority for Apple, that should be the case.
But that’s not the only factor. Of course, Google is the best search engine. But 9 billion dollars to make the best search engine the default search engine also looks good on the bottom line. Google being the best search engine is one of the reasons. But not the only one.