The very wealthy CEO of a very, very wealthy corporation delivers a self-serving speech, talking up his company while trashing the competition.

This is not news.

Yet, the tech blogs are all now racing to tell you about Tim Cook’s “blistering” speech.


It’s bullshit.

For several reasons. Brian will tell you why. First, let the CEO speak:

“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.”

Fuck you. 

Does “Apple want to be” the “kind of company” that makes gold watches? Computers that the *vast majority* of the world cannot afford? 

Does Apple want to be the kind of company that locks out competitors, innovators like Spotify and Pandora, just to protect the sliver of money it gets from downloaded music? 

And fuck you again for suggesting that other companies have “lulled” me into “complacency.” I am served by Twitter and Facebook and Google. I know the price of these and I find it a worthy bargain. 

“We believe the customer should be in control of their own information. You might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for god knows what advertising purpose. And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is.”

Awesome. Let me take all my iTunes content and history — information — and transfer it wherever I want. 

But, fair enough. Those ‘others’ are bad. Offer me an alternative. 

What’s that? You don’t actually offer an alternative to search? Or Twitter? Or Facebook? Oh, and the *only* way to use your mapping service and your email service and your cloud service is if I buy your hardware, which is priced above the means of more than 6 billion people on the planet? 

Fuck you. 

Oh, and you’re charging how much for cloud storage? 

Fuck you. 

“There’s another attack on our civil liberties that we see heating up every day — it’s the battle over encryption. Some in Washington are hoping to undermine the ability of ordinary citizens to encrypt their data.”

I think limiting encryption will help us stop predators, pedophiles, terrorists, drug dealers, murderers. But, go on. I’m listening. I understand my view isn’t the only valid one here. 

“We think this is incredibly dangerous. We’ve been offering encryption tools in our products for years, and we’re going to stay on that path. We think it’s a critical feature for our customers who want to keep their data secure. For years we’ve offered encryption services like iMessage and FaceTime because we believe the contents of your text messages and your video chats is none of our business.”

Fuck you. 

Seriously. Fuck you, Tim Cook. Every single one of your iPhones, the source of your riches, are made in China, under the watchful eye of the Chinese government, which has publicly and explicitly stated their intent to control what is seen and said on the Internet. 

Shift production to free, democratic countries then I’ll believe you might believe what you’re saying.

“Removing encryption tools from our products altogether, as some in Washington would like us to do, would only hurt law-abiding citizens who rely on us to protect their data. The bad guys will still encrypt; it’s easy to do and readily available.”

And what about China? 

Mention China or fuck you.

“We shouldn’t ask our customers to make a tradeoff between privacy and security. We need to offer them the best of both. Ultimately, protecting someone else’s data protects all of us.”

Apple is making, what? $40 – $50 billion in *profit* annually? Maybe cut that profit, just the profit, down to say, $30 billion dollars in a single year, or something akin to a giant oil company. More — millions more — can then buy your products and won’t have to make any “tradeoffs.” Otherwise, fuck you.

If Tim Cook cared about privacy he wouldn’t have every iPhone made in China. Or charge prices that 6 billion people can’t afford. These matter.

That’s my opinion. But, you know. Believe the guy with a huge financial stake.