Apple CEO Tim Cook: We Have A Responsibility To Fight For Privacy

Apple CEO Tim Cook defended his company’s stance on encryption and thanked the general public for their support during the launch of the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7.

The company is currently engaging in a very public battle with the FBI, which wants Apple to unlock an iPhone 5C belonging to one of the suspects in the San Bernadino shootings in California.

The FBI says it is an issue of national security and that this instance is a one-off. But Apple says merely creating code that could unlock the device – if it is possible – would break the trust of its customers and its very existence means other agencies could ask it to unlock more devices.

Apple encryption

Apple has the support of other major tech firms like Facebook, Google and Twitter, but public opinion is split. However Cook reiterated his firm’s position at the launch event in California.

“I’ve been honoured and grateful from the support we’ve received across the world,” he said to loud applause from the audience. “We believe strongly we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and protect your privacy. We owe it to our customers and our country. This is an issue that impacts all of us and we will not shirk our responsibility.”

Loading ...

The issue has highlighted the ongoing battle between authorities and technology companies over encryption and what balance needs to be struck between privacy and security. California is one state that has introduced an anti-encryption smartphone bill, although the technology industry has resisted such moves so far.

One notable exception was Amazon, which disabled encryption on FireOS, only to restore it a few days later.

Can you protect your privacy online? Take our quiz!

iPhone SE 1

Picture 1 of 6

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

View Comments

  • I suspect the FBI request for a delay in the hearing indicates Apple is winning in the court of public opinion.

Recent Posts

Google Ordered To Pay $43m By Australian Court

Search engine Google fined $43 million by Australian court for tracking Android users location data…

2 days ago

Hacker Touts Data Sale Of 48.5m Users Of Covid App – Report

Personal data of 48.5 million Chinese citizens who used Shanghai's Covid App, is being offered…

2 days ago

Facebook Tests Default End-to-End Encryption For Messenger

Privacy move. Platform tests secure storage of people's chats on Messenger, in a move sure…

2 days ago

UK’s CMA Begins Probe Of Viasat Acquisition Of Inmarsat

British competition regulator the CMA, begins phase one investigation of $7.3 billion merger between Inmarsat…

3 days ago

Cisco Admits ‘Security Incident’ After Breach Of Corporate Network

Yanluowang ransomware hackers claim credit for compromise of Cisco's corporate network in May, while Cisco…

3 days ago

Google Seeks To Shame Apple Over RCS Refusal

Good luck convincing Tim. Google begins publicity campaign to pressure Aple into adopting the cross…

3 days ago