In a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed the upcoming iOS 14.5 privacy update that will provide users with greater transparency over which apps are tracking them, calling privacy the “top issue of the 21st century.”
In a recent interview with The New York Times’ Kara Swisher, on her podcast “Sway,” Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed a number of topics including privacy, war with Facebook, and the company’s legal battles with Fortnite maker Epic Games.
Cook discussed the upcoming iOS 14.5 security update that will include a new feature called ATT, or App Tracking Transparency, that will give users greater insight into what apps are tracking them. The feature has caused a feud between Apple and Facebook who argue that the feature will have a negative impact on small businesses that rely on personalized ads.
Cook called Facebook’s viewpoint “flimsy” and noted that using tracking, companies such as Facebook can put “together an entire profile of what you’re thinking and what you’re doing.” Cook stated:
What [App Tracking Transparency] tries to get at is companies that are taking advantage of tracking you across apps of other companies and therefore putting together an entire profile of what you’re thinking, what you’re doing, surveilling you across the web 24/7.
When asked how the update could affect Facebook, Cook stated that he’s not “focused on Facebook,” and that Apple adds new tools and features regularly to improve user privacy. Cook added:
Generally speaking, I think privacy is one of the top issues of the 21st century, and I think we’re in a crisis. Years ago, I thought companies would regulate themselves and sort of get better. I no longer believe that. And I’m not generally somebody that is keen on regulation, but I think that regulation is required.
Discussing the companies legal battle with Epic Games over Apple’s App Store rules, Cook says that Apple is “confident” in its case with the game developer.
It’s about living up to the rules and the guidelines of the App Store, and they had done that for years and then had decided, evidently, that they didn’t want to follow the rules anymore and had passed something throughout the review process, and then after it had been through app review, changed it on the server-side. So it was sort of a deceitful move. And so we’re going into court. We’re coming to tell our story. We’re going to talk about the privacy and security aspects of the store. And we’re confident in our case.
Listen to the full interview at the New York Times here.
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