Apple CEO Tim Cook was riding his high horse Tuesday night, when he launched a none-too-subtle attack against Google and Facebook while speaking at the EPIC Champions of Freedom event in Washington.
Cook criticized his company’s rivals for their advertising-supported business models that do little to safeguard user privacy.
“Like many of you, we at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security,” he told the audience, after being honored for ‘corporate leadership’ at the event.
“We can, and we must provide both in equal measure. We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demand it, the constitution demands it, morality demands it.”
Clearly Cook believes other companies could learn a thing or two from Apple.
“I’m speaking to you from Silicon Valley, where some of the most prominent and successful companies have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information,” Cook told the audience. “They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.
“We don’t think you should ever have to trade it for a service you think is free but actually comes at a very high cost. This is especially true now that we’re storing data about our health, our finances and our homes on our devices,” Cook went on to say.
“We believe the customer should be in control of their own information. You might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your e-mail, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for god knows what advertising purpose. And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is.”
His reference to family photos points a finger squarely at Google, which just launched a new cloud photo storage product, offering users unlimited storage for their images.
Thus far, Apple does not offer such a service.
Cook also gave a tongue-lashing to the government for its surveillance programs and attempts to use technology companies like Apple to spy on its own citizens.