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Tim Cook: Apple Has More Secrecy 'Than The CIA'

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  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), recently appeared on 60 Minutes.
  • The Chief Executive went into several topics, including corporate taxes, encryption technology and manufacturing in China.
  • So, let’s take a look at what Mr. Cook said about innovation, data encryption and national security.

“What is it that makes Apple so innovative and so profitable, and yet so secretive?” 60 Minutes asked. And, what’s next for the largest and most profitable firm on Earth?

60 Minutes first shared a sneak peak into Apple’s design facilities and process, although most things --especially future designs -- were kept a secret. “Every tenth of a millimeter in our products is sacred,” Dan Riccio, senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, explicated, talking about how Jonathan Ive -- Apple's Chief Design Officer -- had designed the new super-slim MacBook and its long-life battery.

Later, CEO Tim Cook appeared on the show, discussing the company, its products and “its biggest project ever.”

Innovation At Apple

Talking about the Apple Watch, Cook was asked if he thought the product could be better and if he was disappointed. “I’m not disappointed in it," he said. "When we launch a product, we are already working on the next one… and possibly even the next next one. And, we always see things we can do."

The Chief Executive was then questioned about the Apple Car, but he decided to keep this a secret for now. “One of the great things about Apple is: we probably have more secrecy here than the CIA,” he stated.

Encryption And National Security

At one point, anchor Charlie Rose asked, why did Tim Cook refuse to provide U.S. law enforcement agencies access to its users’ encrypted emails and texts, following the Paris (and other) terrorist attacks?

Cook revealed that, while he would not provide access to encrypted data, he was “cooperating with authorities to combat terrorism."

Devices nowadays keep health, financial and even more intimate information, Cook explained. “And you should have the ability to protect it. And the only way that we know how to do that is to encrypt it...because if there is a way to get in, somebody will find the way in,” he continued.

“If the government lays a proper warrant on us today, then we will give the specific information that is requested –because we have to by law. In the case of encrypted communication, we don’t have it to give,” he added. “I don’t believe that the tradeoff here is between privacy versus national security. I think that’s an overly simplistic view. We’re America, we should have both!”

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned above.

 

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