- Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended taking billions of dollars from Google to make it the default search engine on the iPhone.
- Axios asked Cook whether the deal compromised Apple’s no-nonsense approach to privacy.
- Google has been blighted by privacy concerns in recent months, including a Google Plus data breach.
- Cook launched a blistering attack last month on firms that he said hoarded “industrial” amounts of personal data.
Tim Cook has defended taking billions of dollars from Google amid concerns that the partnership undermines Apple’s no-nonsense approach to privacy.
Google pays Apple more than $9 billion a year to be the default search engine on the iPhone, according to a Goldman Sachs estimate seen by Business Insider.
But Google has been blighted by privacy concerns in recent months. The company shut down its Google Plus social network for consumers in October after 500,000 accounts were breached, while the Associated Press found in August that Google services on the iPhone stored location data even when users told them not to.
Despite the recent furors, Apple’s CEO stood by the company’s deal with Google when asked whether it compromised Apple’s privacy believes. Cook told “Axios on HBO” on Sunday:
“I think their search engine is the best. Look at what we’ve done with the controls we’ve built in. We have private web browsing. We have an intelligent tracker prevention. What we’ve tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day. It’s not a perfect thing. I’d be the very first person to say that. But it goes a long way to helping.”
Cook has long espoused Apple’s approach to privacy as a “fundamental human right.” He has been vocal about the company’s record as rivals, including Facebook and Google, have been dragged into scandals this year.
Cook launched a blistering attack last month on firms that he said had hoarded “industrial” amounts of personal data. Speaking at a privacy conference in Brussels, he said the stockpiling of personal data amounted to surveillance and should make consumers “very uncomfortable.”
“Our own information, from the everyday to the deeply personal, is being weaponized against us with military efficiency,” he said, calling for “comprehensive federal privacy law” in the US.
Cook did not mention Facebook or Google by name, but they were an obvious target given their access to giant pools of personal information that allow them to target their advertising.
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