Tim Cook Hits Out at Companies “Gobbling Up” Personal Data

Apple tim cookApple CEO Tim Cook has hit out at companies – he didn’t mention any by name but Google and Facebook were the obvious targets – whose businesses are built on collecting their users’ personal data.

Cook was addressing at audience at the Electronic Privacy Information Centre in Washington DC in the process of accepting a Champions of Freedom award for Corporate Leadership from the research body. He said: “Im 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. Theyre gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetise it. We think thats wrong. And its not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.”

While Cook’s words were hard-hitting, some may find them slightly disingenuous, especially if they are familiar with the page on Apple’s website outlining the ways in which advertisers can reach Apple customers, via 400+ targeting options and 135 iTunes Store targeting options.

One section reads: “It’s easy to find the exact group of people you want within Apple’s audience. There are hundreds of millions of validated iTunes accounts worldwide, most tied to payment methods. So whether you’re looking for moms or business travelers or groups of your own customers, we’ve got you covered.”