Tim Cook Stands for Fourth Amendment Rights


It is not new to anyone that privacy is a hot topic for both citizens and government officials. Edward Snowden’s courageous act revealing how the NSA had been spying on citizens through collected data from cell phones and the internet has raised paranoia among the American people. There was also the iCloud breach where all the nude celebrity photos got leaked on various sites. Followed up with that, was the so-called “Snappening” where users from the anonymous image-sharing site, 4chan had hacked into a Snapchat data base containing various photos and videos, then leaked them online. Luckily a lot of photos were harmless selfies, but there were an unlucky few who had nude photos and explicit videos released. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook took a stand for Fourth Amendment Rights at the EPIC’s Champions of Freedom event on Monday.

It is quite obvious that privacy has become a private good lately. People have to buy their protection from hackers and spies. No doubt is it an incredible business opportunity for the computer-savvy to capitalize on by offering their service. After the recent breaches that have occurred in the online world, demand is incredibly high for internet privacy. Cook believes that it is a fundamental right for everyone to enjoy. He was bold in his stance of calling out other companies and their practices.

Google is the most used search engine in the world and many may think it is safe. They have also made it easier by implementing My Account which connects Google Plus, phone contacts, YouTube, GPS, photo storage, etc. all into one nicely packed page. The services are free, but Cook has revealed the real product is the user. All the information that is collected from searches, YouTube videos watched, locations, even photos are all put into a database. Google collects data from photos. Yes, the free photos storage is actually used by the company to track what people are taking pictures of. All of the data is then gathered and sold to major corporations which generate ads specific to the user’s likes and interests.

Facebook does the exact same thing by observing status updates and pages that are liked. Although the companies state they gather the information to create a better web-browsing experience, Cook stands for Fourth Amendment Rights believing it is intrusive when people today are storing personal information on their devices. He said in his speech, “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.”

Encryption was another subject that was touched on at the speech. Policy makers in Congress have tried asking Apple to allow them a secret key that allows them to access data in case of terrorist emergencies. Cook revealed that he is not allowing this is in anyway, shape, or form. He believes that if any backdoor is made accessible, then hackers will use every resource possible to acquire it. Removing encryption options for Apple consumers would put their information at risk for the benefit of the government’s easy access. “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,” Cook says.

Apple still collects data from its users, but he states that it only gathers the very minimum to still provide a good browsing experience. Cook will continue to stand for Fourth Amendment Rights in making Apple products a trusted place for consumers to store their data.

Opinion by Frank Grados


TechCrunch: Apple’s Tim Cook Delivers Blistering Speech On Encryption, Privacy

NewsMax: Apple’s Tim Cook: We Have Fundamental Right to Privacy

Digital Trends: Tim Cook is right about privacy and encryption: We shouldn’t give them up for Google

Photo Courtesy of Matthew Pearces’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

2 Responses to "Tim Cook Stands for Fourth Amendment Rights"

  1. Pingback: Key Worried About Phone Hacking | Mobile Security Review

  2. Ilya Geller   June 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Being structured data becomes database: everything can easily be found and controlled. For example, Internet will become a database. No need to spy within the database of publically available and structured information.
    Being structured data can search for people, each has a personal profile of structured data; and each user gets only specifically tailored for him information, there is no spam.
    I discovered and patented how to structure any data: Language has its own Internal parsing, indexing and statistics. For instance, there are two sentences:

    a) ‘Sam!’
    b) ‘A loud ringing of one of the bells was followed by the appearance of a smart chambermaid in the upper sleeping gallery, who, after tapping at one of the doors, and receiving a request from within, called over the balustrades -‘Sam!’.’

    Evidently, that the ‘Sam’ has different importance into both sentences, in regard to extra information in both. This distinction is reflected as the phrases, which contain ‘Sam’, weights: the first has 1, the second – 0.08; the greater weight signifies stronger emotional ‘acuteness’.
    First you need to parse obtaining phrases from clauses, restoring omitted words, for sentences and paragraphs.
    Next, you calculate Internal statistics, weights; where the weight refers to the frequency that a phrase occurs in relation to other phrases.
    After that data is indexed by common dictionary, like Webster, and annotated by subtexts.
    This is a small sample of the structured data:
    this – signify – : 333333
    both – are – once : 333333
    confusion – signify – : 333321
    speaking – done – once : 333112
    speaking – was – both : 333109
    place – is – in : 250000
    To see the validity of technology – pick up any sentence.

    Do you have a pencil?

    As you can see from the sample above structured data cannot be read and understood.
    Therefore, nothing exists what to spy after: 1) database (Internet) contains only publically available and structured information, 2) the personal profiles have no value for burglars because they contain no useful information.
    Does not make sense to fight for some very complicated and abstract laws, which can be broken: there is the technology that makes any spying absolutely senseless.


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