Apple chief says firm guards data privacy in China

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has repeatedly stressed that Apple’s business model does not involve gathering user data and targeting them with ads. (AFP)
Updated 03 October 2018

Apple chief says firm guards data privacy in China

  • Apple chief executive Tim Cook called privacy as one of the most important issues of this century
  • China is known for tight Internet controls, prompting worries about the privacy of data stored there by Apple

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple chief executive Tim Cook on Tuesday said the company is devoted to protecting people’s privacy, with data encrypted and locked away on servers even in China.
Cook called privacy as one of the most important issues of this century, and maintained that the US-based technology colossus even safeguards data Chinese law requires it to keep stored in that country.
“We worked with a Chinese company to provide iCloud,” Cook said, referring to Apple’s service for storing digital content in the Internet cloud during an interview with Vice News.
“But, the keys to the data are ours.”
Cook said Apple hosts data on servers in an array of countries, but it is not easy for local authorities to get access. China is known for tight Internet controls, prompting worries about the privacy of data stored there by Apple.
When asked about a recent security breach revealed by Facebook, Cook once again championed the importance of protecting people’s information in a time when smartphones can reveal so much about them.
Cook has repeatedly stressed that Apple’s business model does not involve gathering user data and targeting them with ads, the way Internet giants Facebook and Google make money.
“You are not our product,” Cook said.
“We don’t create a profile and allow other companies to target you. That is not the business we are in.”
Apple, valued at more than a trillion dollars based on its share price, makes most of its money from iPhone sales. The Silicon Valley company has been working to ramp up revenue from digital content and online services, such as streaming music and data storage.
Cook said that while he is a fan of the free market, he supports the idea of legislation aimed at protecting people’s privacy.
“I think there is a need to work with Congress and the staff to make sure we do our jobs of helping them come up to speed on what’s possible,” Cook said.
“Technology itself doesn’t want to be good. It doesn’t want to be bad. It doesn’t want to be anything. It is up to the creator.”


White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

US President Donald Trump arrives at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Sunday. Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. (AP)
Updated 26 August 2019

White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

  • President’s comments appear at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the US leader

TOKYO: President Donald Trump said Sunday that he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China, but the White House later reversed that message saying the president was misinterpreted and that his only regret in hiking tariffs is that he didn’t raise them higher. Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France. During a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump suggested he had qualms about the spiraling conflict. “Yeah. For sure,” Trump told reporters when asked if he has second thoughts about escalating the dispute, adding he has “second thoughts about everything.”
But hours later, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying Trump’s comments about US tariffs on China were “greatly misinterpreted.”
She said Trump only responded “in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.” The comments appeared at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the famously hard-nosed leader. But the later reversal fit a pattern for Trump in recoiling from statements he believes suggest weakness.

HIGHLIGHTS

• President Donald Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France.

• White House said comments about US tariffs on China were ‘greatly misinterpreted.’

Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. Trump’s counterparts, including Johnson, are trying to convince him to back off his trade wars with China and other countries, which they see as contributing to the economic weakening.

US-Japan agreement
Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Sunday a deal in principle on a major bilateral trade deal.
“It’s a very big transaction,” Trump said after talks with Abe on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
“Billions and billions of dollars,” he said. “It involves agriculture, it involves e-commerce. It involves many things. We’ve agreed in principle.”

Amazon fires
Also on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that world leaders at the G7 summit have agreed to help the countries affected by the huge wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest as soon as possible.
“We are all agreed on helping those countries which have been hit by the fires as fast as possible,” he told journalists.