TECH

Apple's Tim Cook Comes Out Swinging On Security

16/09/2014 11:41 BST | Updated 17/09/2014 09:00 BST

Apple has been hit by its fair share of bad publicity on security recently - but CEO Tim Cook is adamant that it takes the problem as seriously as anyone.

In the second part of his two-hour interview with US TV host Charlie Rose, Cook said that Apple is "not reading your email".

Cook said that Apple does not collect or sell data, and that its hardware is its product - not its customers.

"We’re not reading your email. We’re not reading your iMessage," Cook said.

"If the government laid a subpoena to get iMessages, we can’t provide it. It’s encrypted and we don’t have a key. And so it’s sort of — the door is closed."

Here's the full quote:

"We take a very different view of this than a lot of other companies have. Our view is, when we design a new service, we try not to collect data. So we’re not reading your email. We’re not reading your iMessage. If the government laid a subpoena to get iMessages, we can’t provide it. It’s encrypted and we don’t have a key. And so it’s sort of, the door is closed. But our business Charlie, is based on selling these [pointing to devices]. Our business is not based on having information about you. You’re not our product.

Our product are these, and this watch, and Macs and so forth. And so we run a very different company. I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried. And you should really understand what’s happening to that data. And companies I think should be very transparent about it."

And here's what he had to say on the NSA and government data requests:

"We’ll reach higher and higher levels of urgency as more and more incidents happen. I think that the, for us, in the Snowden thing, just to go along on that for just a moment. What we wanted, was, we wanted instantly to be totally transparent because there were rumors and things being written in the press that people had backdoors to our servers. None of that is true, zero.

We would never allow that to happen. They would have to cart us out in a box before we would do that. It’s, if we ever get information, and we finally got an agreement from the administration to release how many times we had national security orders on Apple. And in a six month period, and we had to release a range, because they won’t let us say the exact number, it’s between zero and 250. That’s the lowest number you can quote. Zero to 250."