In an interview on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s CEO Tim Cook supported Apple’s decision not to compromise encryption. The company is facing criticism from security agencies such as the FBI. According to these security agencies, if they were allowed access to Apple systems they would fight some threats to national security.
On the interview with CBS’s Charlie Rose, Cook explained why he thinks weakening the encryption is not an option.
“If there it is possible to gain access the interested party will get in,” Cook said. “There have been people who want a “backdoor” access to our systems. But they fail to realize that if the “backdoor” is created it will be for everyone, the good people and the bad people.”
After the ISIS group attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the U.S. government thinks it is time major tech companies gave them access to the encrypted messages of their users. FBI Director, James Comey suggested that it could be possible that terrorists were using encrypted messaging platforms to communicate. FBI cannot access messages on Apple devices, which explains the pressure on Cook’s company to provide access.
“There should be no trade-off between national security and privacy,” Cook explained. “We are the most developed country in the world, should we not enjoy both?”
Modern smartphones, especially Apple smartphones have loads of sensitive information including health records, financial statements and private messages between users and their families and friends. Such information, according to Cook should be kept private and away from the wrong hands. The safest way of keeping such information private is by encrypting the data by turning it to indiscernible data that only the right key can turn into relevant information.
Cook pointed out that the company would oblige to warranties that require specific information. But there is a limit to the information that can be provided. Clearly the company is not ready to compromise the privacy and security of users.
During the interview, Cook responded to the allegations that the company evades tax on overseas income. The allegations came from the Congress and Cook described it as “total political crap”. Cook confirmed that the company uses a million Chinese workers in the manufacture of its devices and other products. Cook defended this by saying that the Chinese workers possess skills that are hard to find locally. According to Cook, US has for some time now stopped focusing on vocational skills.