Apple CEO Tim Cook has finally given his take on the Russian meddling with the United States Presidential election controversy. Cook stated that the social networks under the scanner at present have been learning ‘along the way a lot,’ and that the fake news and ads are serious issues.
Foreign ads not the real issue
Cook, however, stated that ads from the foreign government are not the real issue, rather the real issue is that U.S. tools are used by the malefactors to divide people, and influence their thinking. “I believe that’s like .1 percent of the issue,” Cook told NBC’s Lester Holt on tonight’s NBC Nightly News broadcast.
“The bigger issue is that some of these tools are used to divide people, to manipulate people, to get fake news to people in broad numbers, and so, to influence their thinking,” Cook said. “And this, to me, is the No. 1 through 10 issue.”
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) November 1, 2017
Addressing the privacy concerns, Cook said all the media companies and even tech companies are not the same. He stated that different companies are guided by different principles, different business models and different values when it comes to collecting user data.
Talking about Apple, Cook stated that the company takes a very pro-privacy view such as Apple has no idea about the content of the message that users send to each other. Talking about FaceTime, he noted that it is encrypted end-to-end. When asked about the privacy issues around the iPhone X over the facial recognition feature, Cook said that it should not be a problem as Apple is not collecting any data.
“We have a chip in here where the image of your face is stored and encrypted. And so, Apple doesn’t have that,” Cook said. “Your device has that.”
CEO Tim Cook on tax reforms
Apple CEO also talked about the tax reforms, a hot topic in the United States ever since Donald Trump took over as the President. According to CEO Tim Cook, Apple has an in-depth understanding of the effects of taxes on business, and that companies are hesitant to bring cash into the United States because of the taxes. Cook noted that this is not working in favor of the United States. “There’s no tax receipts there,” Cook said, adding, the issue which should have been resolved years ago, needs to be fixed now.
Cook, however, feels the tax reforms, which the country is hoping to put in practice, will provide an opportunity to bring some of the money back to the United States. Apple is among the few companies, who have constantly been under the radar for using ways to reduce their claimed tax liabilities in the United States, as well as globally. Apple has stashed around 94% of its $261.5 billion in cash and marketable securities overseas. Meanwhile, legislators are expected to present a draft, a new tax bill with tax cuts, on Thursday, coinciding with the day Apple releases its earnings.
On Wednesday, Apple shares closed down 1.275% at $166.89. Year to date, the stock is up over 44%, while in the last three-months, it is up over 11%.