Apple: Tim Cook puts privacy at the top of priorities

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For the Apple CEO, protecting privacy is essential, which justifies the current constraints of the Apple Store.

This Tuesday, April 12, at the Global Privacy Summit of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, Tim Cook spoke recalling that the fight for the protection of user data is ” one of the most essential of our time “.

An opportunity also for him to refute accusations that the current restrictions of the Apple Store are anti-competitive. It highlights Apple’s efforts to protect users’ data by giving them control over what kind of information they want to share or not share with apps.

He takes the opportunity to remind that if the situation of digital life were reported in the real world, it would be equivalent to having a person who follows us and films us permanently, whether we drive our children to school or that the we work on our computer. Under the cover of offering a personalized service, companies suck up an astronomical amount of data.

Apple’s dilemma

On the one hand, Apple is committed to processing as much information as possible on the device and not in the clouds, this is to minimize the risk of data theft by cybercriminals. The company also claims to be in favor of strict regulations like the GDPR in force in Europe (while lamenting the absence of similar regulations in the United States).

But on the other, Apple is struggling with the authorities over its Apple Store deemed anti-competitive. This same application store that was singled out during the lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games.

As a reminder, it is (in theory) not possible to install an application on an Apple device without going through the official store; which in practice forces publishers to meet strict – and unilateral – specifications imposed by the Cupertino company.

A monopoly justified by the need to protect user data according to Tim Cook, since in the event of the appearance of an alternative store, Apple would lose some of its control. Nevertheless, this situation is considered oppressive by the publishers who are obliged, in passing, to pay a commission of 15 to 30% on in-app purchases such as skins – same thing with the Google Play Store -, without having any leverage. negotiation in the absence of competition.

This is Apple’s dilemma, supporting one piece of user protection legislation while trying to circumvent another.

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