Android users can pat themselves on the back for paying less for a smartphone. Apple fans can rest easy knowing the steeper price they paid for their iPhones came with better data privacy.
This was a point Roger McNamee, an Apple investor and co-founder of the private equity firm Elevation Partners, delivered Wednesday during a discussion on CNBC about where the big tech companies stand on privacy.
McNamee praised Apple CEO Tim Cook for how the company handles consumer data and said all tech giants should make privacy a top priority. McNamee was responding to a VICE News Tonight interview with Cook, who warned consumers not to trust tech companies that say “I’ve got to take all of your data to make service better.”
Data privacy: Apple is ‘extraordinary’
“Apple has really done extraordinary things over the last year to protect consumer privacy, but also to create security,” McNamee said on the CNBC program Closing Bell. “For implementing (data protection measures) in products without being forced to by the governments, they really are a beacon of hope.”
McNamee used two examples: Data generated from Siri and facial recognition stays with the phone and never reaches the cloud where it is vulnerable.
Cook has been leading voice on data privacy and has been steadfast in resisting government pressure to create a “back door” that easily allows law enforcement to break into a device.
On Oct. 24, Cook will be in Brussels to deliver the keynote address at an international conference on data privacy.
McNamee said the government may have to force companies to give consumers control over how their data is used. He said data privacy should be a top concern in light of “the hack at Facebook (and) some of the issues going on” with smart speakers in the home, such as Amazon’s Alexa.
Both Google and Amazon are developing technology to gather audio data for advertising and product recommendations.