Tim Cook talked a good game during his sit down chat with Charlie Rose for PBS when he discussed the recent iCloud problems and Apple’s stance on the privacy problems that have swept the tech world (and government) over the last couple of years.

Cook said that iCloud had not been hacked but been the subject of a large scale phishing expedition and he warned that users were still uneducated on how to properly protect themselves and their data online. He said Apple would be taking steps to improve the situation and true to his word the company has launched a new section of its website. The “built in security” page gives security details about just about all of Apple’s products and services.

Addressing the general privacy concerns, Cook said at the start of the week that Apple is simply not interested in user data because the company makes money from products and not ads or curated info. He said he was offended by the practise and that the company has never given data to any governmental body. As part of that ethos, the built in security page will be transparent in how Apple uses data from its customers and will at least once a year will give updates on how data is handled.

Cook wrote an open letter addressing the issues and reiterating his stance on these subjects:

A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy.

At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That’s why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.

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.

One very small part of our business does serve advertisers, and that’s iAd. We built an advertising network because some app developers depend on that business model, and we want to support them as well as a free iTunes Radio service. iAd sticks to the same privacy policy that applies to every other Apple product. It doesn’t get data from Health and HomeKit, Maps, Siri, iMessage, your call history, or any iCloud service like Contacts or Mail, and you can always just opt out altogether.

Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.

Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.

Tim

[VIA]





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