On the heels of an iCloud hacking scandal and the launch of Apple Pay, a new service highly dependent on security, Apple chief executive Tim Cook is trying to ensure we keep calm and continue uploading.
Today, Cook released a public statement on a new privacy-focused Apple webpage to reaffirm Apple’s commitment to user data and security, especially when it comes to services with sensitive information such as iCloud and Apple Pay. He also encouraged user to use two-step verification, and assured them that Apple is not in the business of collecting and selling their information or sharing it without their knowledge or consent. He writes:
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. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.
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.
A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.
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. 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.
Cook also said that Apple has never worked with any government agency, created backdoors into its products, or allowed access to its service. In the last year or so, several giant tech companies have come under fire for allegedly giving in to such governmental requests.
Still, I’m sure most people would love to see the steps Apple is taking to close the back door in iCloud that’s apparently been open for the past two years — those celebrity photos were much too easy to steal.