Apple CEO Tim Cook threw some shade at Silicon Valley tech companies in his Stanford commencement speech last week. Cook didn’t single out any specific firm but, since he was speaking about privacy and user data security, we can make a few educated guesses as to who he was referring to. Cook warned that they would need to take responsibility for the “chaos” they create as a result of their innovations.
“It feels a bit crazy that anyone should have to say this, but if you built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos,” Cook told Stanford graduates.
He’s got a point…
‘Twas a graduation day at Stanford University — a day of new beginnings and floating graduation caps. But Cook had another idea, especially considering Stanford is one of the biggest human suppliers to Silicon Valley. Speaking to the gathering of 30,000 attendees, Cook mounted a not-so-subtle attack against rival companies for failing to own up to a variety of issues like fake news, data breaches, privacy violations, and hate speech. See the speech for yourself below.
“We see it every day now with every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind eye turned to hate speech, fake news poisoning our national conversation, the false miracles in exchange for a single drop of your blood,” he said.
Cook continued by taking a shot at surveillance capitalism and misuse of user data for the sake of technological advancement, arguing that there’s a lot more at stake.
“If we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated, sold and even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data. We lose the freedom to be human,” Cook said.
Privacy has become a sticking point in Silicon Valley. While Amazon, Facebook, and Google continue to rely on customer behaviour to further their businesses, Apple has strategically designed its services with privacy as the core selling point. Which is likely why Cook has no issue calling out his competitors on these issues.