Apple Chief Slams Tech Rivals on Privacy, Encryption

Without naming names, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a shot at some of his rival tech companies for how they "gobble up" and use their customers' personal data for financial gain. Cook made his remarks during Tuesday's Electronic Privacy Information Center's 2015 Champions of Freedom Awards dinner.

Cook, who spoke via a remote video feed to attendees of the dinner in Washington, D.C., was one of the recipients of the organization's Champions of Freedom Awards. He is the first business leader to have received such recognition from the group.

Under Cook's leadership, Apple has taken a number of high-profile positions on data privacy and security. Last month, the company was among 143 signatories of a letter urging President Barack Obama to reject any proposals to undermine strong encryption technologies. And when Apple updated its privacy policy last year, Cook told interviewer Charlie Rose that his company was "not the treasure trove" of data for government surveillance.

Beware 'So-Called Free Services'

As reported by TechCrunch, Cook opened his remarks at the EPIC dinner by saying, "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. 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."

Cook criticized "so-called free services" that give tech companies access to users' e-mail addresses, search histories and "now even your family photos." That last reference appeared to have been directed at a new offering from Google, Photos, which was unveiled at its recent I/O 2015 developers conference.

Cook also directed critical remarks at some in Washington who are attempting to limit citizens' abilities to protect and encrypt their...

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