Apple has been under a mountain of scrutiny recently from lawmakers, developers, judges and users. In the midst of all this, CEO Tim Cook sat with the publication Brut. to discuss Apple̵
As is so common when Tim Cook speaks in public, privacy was a major focus. His answer to a question about its significance was the same as we have heard from him many times: “we see it as a fundamental human right, a fundamental human right.” Noting Apple has been focused on privacy for a long time.
You can think of a world where privacy is not important and the surveillance economy takes over and it becomes a world where everyone is worried that someone else sees them and so they start doing less, they start thinking less, and no one wants to live in a world where freedom of speech is restricted.
And when asked about regulatory oversight, he pointed to the GDPR as an example of regulation that Apple supports, and also said Apple would support further expansion of privacy-related rules.
But beyond rules that were strictly centered on privacy, he was not so exhaustive. “When I look at the technical regulations being discussed, I think there are good parts of it, and then I think there are parts of it that are not in the interest of the user,” he said.
As an example of the latter, he said “the current DMA language being discussed will force sideloading for the iPhone.” He added:
It would ruin the security of the iPhone and many of the privacy initiatives we have built into the App Store, where we have labels for privacy and browsing of app tracking … these things would not exist anymore.
Privacy watchdogs have praised Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature, though advertisers have paralyzed it, but nutrition labels have been less of a hit. Many observers have pointed out that the labels are often inaccurate or incomplete.
“Android has 47 times more malware than iOS,” Cook claimed. “It’s because we’ve designed iOS in such a way that there’s an app store, and all apps are reviewed before they go in store. And then a lot of this malware keeps things out of our ecosystem, and customers have told us a lot. continuously, how much they value it, and then we will stand up for the user in the discussions. “
However, the interview was not just about regulation and privacy; Cook also answered open-ended questions about Apple’s future product strategy. When asked what he thinks Apple’s products will look like for many years to come, he carefully offered the warning that no one can really predict where things are going:
We approach the future with great humility because we know we cannot predict it. I’m not one of those people who would say I can look 20 years out and 30 years out and tell you what’s going to happen. I can not. I really do not think anyone can.
To back up this point, he talked about Apple’s path toward putting its own silicon in Macs:
We did not know when we were working on the chip for the iPhone that it would be the heart of the iPad, and we did not know that it would eventually become the heart of the Mac, as it was just done in the past year. We did not know it, but we kept discovering, and we kept pulling on the string, and we kept our minds open about where the journey would take us, and it has led us to a place that is incredible, and who has a great future ahead of him.
That said, Cook called augmented reality (AR) and the intersection of health and technology as areas where he sees the potential of the future. He said he sees AR “as a technology that can improve lives in a broad way.” And once again hinting at ambitious plans for future AR hardware, he said: “We’ve worked on AR first with our phones and iPads, and later we’ll see where it goes in terms of products.”
In the field of health, Cook said he was “extremely optimistic” about the intersection of health and technology:
When we started sending the watch, we thought about it from a wellness point of view, but we put a heart rate sensor on it and I got lots of emails about people finding out they had heart problems that they did not know about that. And then we started adding more function to the watch … and I’m starting to get even more notes from people who found out they had a problem because of this ability to constantly monitor themselves. I think the idea of constantly monitoring the body, just like what happens in your car with warning lights and so on, I think it’s a great idea that has a long road ahead. All of these things make me incredibly optimistic.
The mention of a car as inspiration attracted a smile from Brut.’S interviewer, who soon after asked if Apple plans to design and start selling a car. “As for a car,” Cook replied, “I must keep secrets, and there must always be something up our sleeve.”