For those who came in late, Cook has been making a scene about privacy and how his glorious product protects privacy while those from Facebook and Google do not. Of course, this does not apply to China where Apple runs its software into a government-monitored cloud server but that is not hypocritical, everyone has to do it, or else they have to make a moral stand and leave China as Google did.
Now it seems that Cook has signed a multibillion-dollar deal with one of the companies he says is spying on users.
The comments, which were broadcast as part of an interview on Axios on HBO, came in response to Cook being asked why he was comfortable taking billions of dollars from Google to make it Apple’s default search engine, despite claiming to want to protect user privacy.
Cook praised the security and privacy measures that Apple builds directly into its Safari browser while still allowing its users access to “the best” search engine.
”I think their [Google’s] search engine is the best. Look at what we’ve done with the controls we’ve built in. We have private web browsing. We have intelligent tracker prevention. What we’ve tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their 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.”
But cynics point out that Apple reportedly makes anywhere from $3 to $9 billion from its deal with Google, which sees its search engine made the default on Apple’s Safari web browser, Siri web search, and elsewhere.
This all seems different from the same Cook who tried to warn a “data-industrial complex” in calling for comprehensive US privacy laws.
On Sunday, he told Axios that some level of government regulation over Silicon Valley was inevitable. “I’m a big believer in the free market, but we have to admit when the free market’s not working. And it hasn’t worked here. I think it’s inevitable that there will be some level of regulation.”
Well not tax regulation, of course, Apple does not like tax regulation. Or consumer regulation, Apple fought hard to prevent EU consumer warranty laws applying to it. It is also fighting to stop regulation which will force it to allow people to repair Apple gear they have paid for. So when Apple talks about being a fan of regulation, it means anything that stops it making huge profits.