Tim Cook reiterates Apple’s views on privacy in NPR interview

Tim Cook with the iPhone 6

Tim Cook has once again reiterated Apple’s stance on user privacy in an interview with NPR’s Robert Siegel. It comes just days after Cook published a letter outlining Apple’s privacy policies, which prevent our data from being shared, sold, or seen by third-parties.

Not even the government and law enforcement agencies get access to your data without permission from the court, Cook told Siegel. And even then, there’s only so much they have access to, because Apple leaves a lot of your data on your devices for you to control.

“Some of our most personal data is on the phone: our financial data, our health information, our conversations with our friends and family and co-workers,” Cook said. “And so instead of us taking that data into Apple, we’ve kept data on the phone and it’s encrypted by you. You control it.”

Cook added that if Apple creates a “back door” that allows security agencies to gain access to our devices, then “the bad guys get in there, too.” He believes that others are coming around to this thinking, and that the NSA wouldn’t even request a back door now.

Users depend on Apple to keep their lives private, Cook said, and the company wants to maintain that trust. “Privacy is a fundamental human right that people have,” he added. “Our view on this comes from a values point of view, not from a commercial interest point of view.”

Customers are not Apple’s product, Cook continued, and it is not interested in finding out about us. It doesn’t want to collect our data and understand “every detail” about our lives. It doesn’t read our email, look at what we’re purchasing, or monitor the news we read.

This sounds like another subtle swipe at Google, which is known to use the data it gathers from its users in a variety of ways — including selling it to advertisers and marketers. Cook took a similar stab in the letter about privacy that was published on Apple’s website.

You can listen to Cook’s full interview with NPR, which runs for just over eight minutes, in the audio player below.

[via NPR]