Essays on Technology and Culture

Another Reason Apple Defends Encryption

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.