1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Tim Cook: Data is being 'weaponized against us by the data-industrial complex'

By Cal Jeffrey · 9 replies
Oct 24, 2018
Post New Reply
  1. Apple has long held the position “the customer is not our product.” This means that Apple is not looking to collect user information and sell it to the highest bidder like some other companies. It is part of the reason its products command high premiums — iPhone sales are not being partially subsidized by Big Data firms wanting your information.

    During a speech at a privacy conference in Brussels, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that personal information is being “weaponized against us with military efficiency [creating a] data-industrial complex.”

    “Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies. Rogue actors and even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false. This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy.”

    Cook was careful to not call anyone out specifically, but recent news of political ad targeting and the Cambridge Analytica scandal brought at least a couple names to mind.

    The Apple boss also applauded Europe for its recent implementation of the GDPR privacy regulations. “It is time for the rest of the world … to follow [Europe’s] lead,” said Cook. “We at Apple are in full support of comprehensive federal privacy laws in the United States.”

    Cook believes that lawmakers should come up with laws governing privacy as a fundamental human right. He listed four rights of concern: “the right to have personal data minimized; the right for users to know what data is collected on them; the right to access that data; and the right for that data to be kept securely.”

    These do not seem like unreasonable requests, but Big Data proponents argue that too much regulation stifles innovation — as if allowing consumers to have their privacy is going to keep them from coming up with ideas. This notion is hogwash at best. However, Cook thinks it is worse than that.

    “This notion isn't just wrong, it's destructive,” he said. “Technology’s potential is and always must be rooted in the faith people have in it.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 582   +382

    The irony here is impeccable.

    A company founded and fronted by intelligence, mining every user for the past thirty years, "outing" the other agencies for doing the same thing! It's like an Onion article.
    Morris Minor and crocography like this.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,712   +2,507

    Really? Because Apple is literally the only company that's fought the government's push for universal and unconstitutional surveillance.
    ypsylon, warLoc and Evernessince like this.
  4. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,993   +3,481

    "Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies."

    This right here is an excellent quote both in the sense of how companies are using our data and how we use it ourselves.

    It's nice to see Apple push the initiative here. We have been in need of something after a near daily pace of personal information leaks and over-zealous data gathering, among other privacy concerns.
  5. crocography

    crocography TS Enthusiast Posts: 29   +20

    Regardless they have still mined your data since the beginning but I am sure an apologist such as yourself will not be worried in Apple's walled-garden.
    JaredTheDragon and Morris Minor like this.
  6. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,546   +1,536

    Care to provide some evidence?

    --> Evidence that Apple has been data mining since "the beginning" that is.... it is fairly well known (but I guess not by you) that Apple is one of the few companies that DOESN'T data mine...
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  7. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,493   +1,295

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    Capaill likes this.
  8. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Maniac Posts: 362   +245

  9. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 582   +382


    Did they also literally pay you to write that? Langley, not Apple.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,945   +3,993

    A public which is so demonstrably stupid as to willingly bring one of these "personal assistant" devices into their homes, then clamor for even more invasive "better and more functional units", to be produced, IMHO doesn't deserve the time and monetary government expenditures to "safeguard their privacy", in the first place.

    What's truly frightening is, that it really isn't that far fetched, to think that Amazon will become a bank of sorts, allowing individuals to "direct deposit their paychecks with them". With that system in place, Jeff Bezos will have accomplished his Machiavellian primary goal, which is to rule the world by way of a bloodless economic takeover.

    I haven't bought a new car since 1989, yet only god knows how much advertising I've suffered through at the hand of the automotive industry for the past 29 years.

    The majority of us have fairly finite resources. Hence, If any of us are stupid to buy in quantity the goods and services being rammed down out throats by "targeted advertising", then we need to pay for our gullibility by getting a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th job, to pay for our foolishness.

    Madison avenue plies its trade by taking full advantage of human weakness, in the form of greed, vanity, and class consciousness, and they always seem to be winning that game of "mental Jujitsu", by using our self imagined "strengths" against us.

    As far as political propaganda goes, don't break your own head trying to make, "an informed decision". Whichever party happens to be in power, pull the opposite lever every two years, and rid yourselves of the parasites in charge.

    You know how hard it is to get a tick off of your a** after its had a chance to burrow its way in. Politicians are the same type of nuisance pest, once they've latched on and gained traction, it's practically impossible to get rid of one.

    These PACs are allowed to say whatever they choose, even to the extent of fabricating an entire set of truths to suit their agenda.

    If you fall victim to the propaganda generated by data they've mined about you, you have nobody to blame but yourself.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...