Tim Cook says there isn’t a trade-off between security and privacy

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he will not create a ‘back door’ for the government to access encrypted iMessages because it could be used by both ‘good guys and bad guys’.

New Delhi: TV viewers can get a sneak peek at Apple’s plans while they are also treated to a special behind-the-scenes tour of the tech giant’s ‘secret’ design lab with American journalist Charlie Rose.Cook’s remarks, made on CBS’ 60 Minutes show, come amid a debate in the United States over corporations avoiding taxes through techniques such as so-called inversion deals, where a company redomiciles its tax base to another country.

Tim Cook said that he won’t weaken the unbreakable encryption technology on Apple products to allow the US government to access iMessages because it could actually damage national security. Apple’s chief designer Jony Ives too accompanies Charlie Rose on a visit of the company’s design studio at Apple headquarters, giving viewers some insight into the ‘future’ of Apple products.

Like most interviews with Apple, when serious issues were touched upon, executives avoided the subject using the company’s favored tactic—talking about how great Apple is. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.” Earlier in the interview, the conversation heated up just a bit when the subject turned to allegations that Apple AAPL, -2.71% is a “tax avoider” and is “engaged in a sophisticated scheme” to shelter the $74 billion in revenue parked overseas. “That is total political crap,” Cook fired back. It’s an intriguing thought: The company has redefined consumer technology design, while the technology and automotive spaces have never been more closely aligned.

Rebecca Lester, assistant professor of accounting at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, thought Cook’s colourful language might reflect frustration about the lack of movement on tax reform in Washington. “Companies and the government are in a game of chicken, waiting to see which one moves first,” she said. Even though it’s believed the Paris perpetrators used encrypted messages to communicate, Cook said he will not create a ‘back door’ for the government unless Apple is served with a warrant. Apple’s encryption technology makes it impossible for anyone but the intended recipient to see a message and it’s so strong even the company can’t get to communications, Bloomberg reported. Apple Music boss Eddie Cue tells 60 Minutes the following: It’s amazing to be able to work at a place where you’re making products that everybody in the world uses. FBI Director James Comey, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and others have called for Apple and other tech companies to create ways to access messages sent by suspected criminals.

Cook explained that his stance on the powerful encryption doesn’t just come down to the issue of privacy versus national security and that since ‘we’re America’ that ‘we should have both’. It’s past time to get it done.” Cook also defended the company on the thorny issue of encryption, showed off Apple’s future headquarters and, again, talked about why he came out of the closet. When asked if Steve Jobs’s DNA is “baked into everything [Cook] says,” Tim Cook responds predictably with a yes, seizing the opportunity to emphasize Jobs’ influence: This is Steve’s company. For the REAL full transcript and video, which includes visits with some other high-profile Apple exectuives as well as a trip into the design studio, go to CBS.com. A better approach to this bit might have been to ask Cook about the ways consumers are using it, and how that matched against the company’s early expectations.

Ultimately though, Apple’s leadership chooses their words so carefully with the media that any attempts to steer them towards thoughtful responses usually elicits the same result—fevered enthusiasm.

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