There’s probably even more to Apple’s stance on encryption than the company’s business model and desire to promote a competitive advantage. My opinion, without having ever talked with Tim Cook, is that this is at least partially social activism on his part. I suspect that this is an issue he personally cares about, and he has the soapbox of one of the most powerful and popular companies in the world under his feet.
— Rich Mogull – “Why Apple Defends Encryption”
There are many, many reasons why Apple promotes encryption and privacy. Rich does a great job outlining the big ones, including the fact that Apple’s business model isn’t predicated on advertising like so many of the other contemporary technology giants. It’s not even a new phenomenon, stretching back to Steve Jobs’s tenure as CEO. Tim Cook, however, is making privacy a core value of Apple under his leadership. It’s refreshing to see, especially compared to his peers.
And, of course it’s social activism. I’ve never spoken to Tim either, but I don’t think it’s a leap to imagine why a gay man who grew up in Alabama during the 1960s and 70s would put a high value on privacy. Companies reflect the experience and values of their executive staff, after all.