WASHINGTON, June 3 (UPI) -- Tim Cook made it a point to distinguish Apple Inc. from its competitors with a blistering speech on privacy given at a Washington, D.C., event Monday.
Honored at EPIC's Champions of Freedom event for corporate leadership,Cook, 54, gave a remote speech on user privacy and encryption. Although he did not name names, Cook shamed companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter for making alleged "trade-offs" between privacy and security from their practice of "monetizing" private data.
"Some of the most prominent and successful companies (in Silicon Valley) have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information," he reportedly told audience members at the ceremony.
"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."
As part of his campaign to differentiate Apple from others, Cook continued to say that privacy and security must be balanced. "We can, and we must provide both in equal measure," he said. "We believe people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demand it, the constitution demands it, morality demands it."
With its newest innovations like Apple Pay and the Apple Watch, Cook says his company 'doesn't need your data,' while hinting to Google's newest photo features, which analyze facial features and uses location data for organizing.
"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," Cook said. "We think some day, customers will see this for what it is."
Then, Cook had some things to say about the government's limits on private encryption -- which he believes can be dangerous.
"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," he continued. "The bad guys will still encrypt; it's easy to do and readily available."
He claims that taking away encryption of private data is a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution and "undermines our country's founding principles."