Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers a fantastic, touching speech about why online privacy matters


Tim Cook


Tim Cook speaks at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University on February 13, 2015.

On Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University.


The speeches all focused on the importance of online security, and making sure companies and individuals don't fall victim to practices that may leave their information vulnerable.

Cook had a very important message about online privacy and why it matters:

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History has shown us that sacrificing our right to privacy can have dire consequences. We still live in a world where all people are not treated equally. Too many people do not feel free to practice their religion or express their opinion, or love who they choose. A world in which that information can make the difference between life and death. If those of us in positions of responsibility fail to do everything in our power to protect the right of privacy, we risk something far more valuable than money, we risk our way of way of life. Fortunately, technology gives us the tools to avoid these risks and it is my sincere hope that by using them and by working together, we will.

Cook is a gay man who grew up in the south. He has talked about how challenging it was for him, and how it made him a better person. This is likely why online privacy means so much to him.


That's just part of what Cook had to say about Apple and online privacy. You can watch the full video below. Hat tip to Daisuke Wakabayashi at the Wall Street Journal for pointing this out.

Here is more of his speech:

At Apple, we design products that change people's lives. We believe in the power of values to shape history, and we strive to live those values every single day. We believe the country that made our success possible should be the land of opportunity for every American. That's why we support President Obama's ConnectEd initiative to support underserved schools with cutting edge technologies. It's why we're committed to hiring American suppliers and it's why we're manufacturing more of our products and components in the United States. In fact, our products and innovations so far have led to the creation of more than one million American jobs in all 50 states. We believe in leaving the world better than we found it, and that's why we're on track to meet our goal of running our entire company on renewable energy. We believe in human rights and human dignity, which is why we put so much thought into how our products are manufactured and not only how they're designed. We believe deeply that everyone has a right to privacy and security and that's why I stand befor you today.

At Apple we start with a simple premise; our customer's trust means everything to us and we spent decades working to earn that trust. That's why privacy and security are built into every one of our products and services from their inception. We have strict policies that govern how all data is handled. Our networks and systems are segmented. Our hardware and software use encryption and we have a security operations team monitoring our infrastructure 24/7.


Beyond that, we have a straight-forward business model, that's based on selling the best products and services in the world. Not on selling your personal data.

We don't sell advertisers any information from your email content, from your messages, or your web browsing history. We don't monetize the information on your iPhone or in your iCloud. When we ask for information it's to provide you with better services and even then you have a choice. You're in the driver's seat on how much information you want to share and when you want to stop sharing it.

We set the industry's highest standards and we are deeply committed to living up to them.

Today, so much of our information is digital. Our memories of family and friends and photos and videos. Our medical history and our financial transactions. Our most private conversations at home and at work. This comes with great benefits. It makes our lives better, easier, healthier. But at Apple we have always known that this also comes with a great responsibility. We know hackers are doing everything they can do to steal your data. It's why we've used all the technology at our disposal to create the most secure devices and the most secure systems that we can.

In 2013, more than 13 million Americans were victims of identity theft, which is now one of America's fastest growing crimes.


In the last few years, hackers have infiltrated some of our biggest banks and companies, stealing the credit card and debit card info from hundreds of millions more. And just the other week we saw hackers steal information from one of the nation's largest healthcare providers. The personal impact of these security breaches can be devastating. By clicking on thr wrong link or using your credit card, too many people have had their identity stolen, their finances threaten and their lives turned upside down. These offenses cost our economy billions of dollars every year.

There is some good news.

The good news is that we have the ability to protect people from this growing threat. With Apple Pay we put in place a mobile payment system that is significantly more secure than the old days of the plastic card and the magnetic scribe. Security wasn't an afterthought, it was the reason we developed the technology in the first place.

You see, Apple Pay starts with the premise that your purchases and credit card information are personal to you. They should stay that way.

When you add a card to Apple Pay your actual card numbers are never stored in the device or servers. For every payment we create a unique one-time code that is only good for that one transaction from that one device. We don't store those transactions. They remain between you, the merchant, and your bank. We don't know your card number or what you bought or how much you paid. And we don't want to.



We can imagine a day in the not so distant future when your wallet becomes a remnant of the past. Your passport and drivers license and other documents can be digitally stored in a way that's safe, secure, and easy to access, but only by you.

After all, we shouldn't have to trade our security for the convenience of having all of this information at our fingertips.

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