Apple's Tim Cook in fresh privacy commitment

Apple CEO looks to address criticism over iCloud security

Tags: Apple IncorporatedCloud computing
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Apple's Tim Cook in fresh privacy commitment Cook: We don't ‘monetise' the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud (Getty Images)
By  Tom Paye Published  September 18, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook has re-iterated his company's pledge to user privacy in a post on a newly-created website aimed at educating users on how to maintain security on their Apple devices.

In the post, Cook wrote that customer trust means everything to Apple, and that security and privacy are fundamental to the design of the company's products.

The article comes after several tough weeks for Apple regarding customer trust in the level of security it provides - despite the overwhelmingly positive responses to the company's new products launched last week. Following the leak of dozens of personal photos of female celebrities - thought to have been hacked from their iCloud accounts - Apple has taken large amounts of criticism over how it safeguards personal data.

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Cook's post, and the accompanying privacy-focused website, comes across as a statement to address that criticism.

"We believe in telling you up front exactly what's going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us. And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us," he wrote.

"We're publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don't collect, and why. We're going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies."

Cook also made an effort to distance Apple from other companies providing cloud services, such as Google. He said that internet service users realised a few years ago that, when a service is free, people become the product, rather than the customer, and that Apple was not interested in that sort of business model.

"Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don't build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers," he said.

"We don't ‘monetize' the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don't read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple."

The post comes as Apple today added two-step verification to its iCloud service. Apple already offered this security feature with a number of other services, but it was limited to only certain actions to do with managing Apple accounts. The new roll-out means that two-factor authentication can be enabled when logging into iCloud.

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