Apple has been one of the few tech companies to take a stance against privacy. Known primarily for refusing to unlock an iPhone for the FBI, Apple has shown a measure of control when it comes to monetizing its customer base preferring privacy instead. Now, CEO of Apple, Tim Cook is taking another stance for privacy at large. Recently he spoke out about user privacy and Apple’s stance on it at the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. While we agree with this strong privacy stance, one should not overlook the irony here. Companies like Apple and Google are complicit in degrading Chinese citizen’s fundamental human right to privacy.
“We at Apple believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. But we also recognize that not everyone sees things as we do. In a way, the desire to put profits over privacy is nothing new. “
Apple strives to be different than other companies, and in a lot of ways, it’s succeeded. In the modern internet world, companies like Google and Facebook are only getting bigger and better at collecting user data for their own profits. This data is sold and traded around so much it becomes hard to protect. The huge quantity of data being stored incorrectly without proper security and oversight also creates vulnerabilities, and we’ve seen examples of this only this year when Facebook was breached and leaked millions of user’s information and passwords.
However while Apple does seem to be concerned with user privacy without putting profit over privacy, we’ve seen recent instances where that hasn’t been the case. Apple has willingly complied with the Chinese government multiple times over the past year pulling apps on the Chinese iOS app store, at request of the Chinese State. The reason is that the Chinese market is just too large, and if Apple did not comply, their business in China could be compromised. So they will respect privacy within reason, as long as it does not impact corporate profits.
Specific apps like VPNs have been pulled by Apple for the Chinese government, which only grant user privacy. So while Apple likes to play the golden child of the internet age, we must also take this stance with a grain of salt. Because even Apple has a bottom line when it comes to profit and privacy.
However, Cook still believes that the US should follow behind the EU, and enact its own federal privacy laws that give privacy back to the consumer/customer.
“We at Apple are in full support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States. There, and everywhere, it should be rooted in four essential rights,” Cook said
Cook also smartly calls the spotlight on the general apathy that most internet users seem to have. A lot of people think using a VPN for internet privacy is not necessary, and some don’t realize how or why. But the importance of user privacy and security is not something to be ignored.
“This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy. And those of us who believe in technology’s potential for good must not shrink from this [privacy laws].” Cook said.
TorGuard is one of the best iOS VPN and MacOS privacy apps on the app store. We also think that the US could benefit from more emphasis on user privacy. But we already give the unique ability of full VPN encryption on every apple device with our free app. And while Apple does claim to value privacy over profit, we’ve found a way to obtain both at the same time, without comprising either.
By signing up with TorGuard VPN here on this site, it’s a bit different than signing up with Google or Facebook. Here, we are the product, offering full encryption, anonymous IPs, and fully fledged internet anonymity–whereas with other online services, you are the product and your data and privacy are the price.