Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, has addressed Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s shots at Apple’s stance on privacy.
In a recent New York Times op-ed, Pichai dismissed unnamed (but clearly Apple) tech giants who sell privacy as a “luxury good.” Unsurprisingly, Federighi doesn’t agree.
“I don’t buy into the luxury good dig,” Federighi told the U.K.’s Independent newspaper.
Federighi then threw some subtle shade on companies like Facebook and Google (although he doesn’t mention them by name), which have made “a lot of positive noises about caring about privacy.” Federighi says that it is “gratifying” to hear companies talk up privacy. But, he says, “I think it’s a deeper issue than then, what a couple of months and a couple of press releases would make. I think you’ve got to look fundamentally at company cultures and values and business model. And those don’t change overnight.”
Privacy is baked in
By comparison, Federighi says that Apple values users privacy from the very beginning. “I can tell you that privacy considerations are at the beginning of the process, not the end,” he said. “When we talk about building the product, among the first questions that come out is: how are we going to manage this customer data?”
“We have no interest in learning all about you as a company, we don’t want to learn all about you, we think your device should personalize itself to you,” he continued. “But that’s in your control that’s not about Apple learning about you, we have no incentive to do it. And morally, we have no desire to do it. And that’s fundamentally a different position than I think many, many other companies are in.”
Federighi’s words back up what Tim Cook has previously said about privacy. Cook has taken issue with tech giants which gobble up user data. He famously suggested that, if a service appears to be given away for free, the customer themselves is the product being sold.