Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook made some interesting comments in an interview with Axios on Sunday. Cook was asked why Apple accepts billions of dollars in exchange for offering Google (GOOGL) as the default search engine on its products considering both companies are in somewhat conflicting spaces on the topic of privacy.
Apple has for long deemed privacy as paramount and has even tussled with the government on the issue of protecting its users’ privacy. Google, on the other hand, has received flak several times with regards to its collection of user data and was in the news recently for the security breach on its Google + platform, which was later shut down for consumers.
Cook replied that he believed Google’s search engine was the best and that for the sake of privacy, Apple added controls to its Safari browser to prevent the tracking of search history and the collection of user data. He mentioned that even though it was not perfect, it was still helpful.
Last month, at a conference, Cook referred to the collection of user data by tech companies for the purpose of targeted advertising as a form of surveillance. These remarks were believed to be targeted against companies like Google and Facebook (FB), which generate the majority of their revenues from advertising based on such data, although the Apple chief did not specifically name the two firms.
Cook also said that tech companies do not build good or bad products as such but they need to realize that their products could be misused. The CEO said that he was a supporter of the free market and was not a fan of regulation but in the current scenario the free market did not appear to be working.
Cook said that it was inevitable that some form of regulation would be passed at some point and that the technology industry should be willing to accept those regulations. As of 10:45 am ET, Apple’s stock was down 3.2%.