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Apple Executive Dismisses Google CEO's Criticism Over Turning Privacy Into a 'Luxury Good'

Monday May 27, 2019. 10:00 PM , from Slashdot/Apple
Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently said that 'privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services,' a comment that some viewed as a dig at Apple. Well, Apple's software chief, Craig Federighi, says he doesn't 'buy into' the criticism that Apple is turning privacy into a luxury good. From a report: Apple wants to sell products to 'everyone we possibly could,' Federighi said, adding that Apple's products are 'certainly not just a luxury.' Federighi said it's 'gratifying' to see other companies discussing privacy, but that it'll take more than 'a couple of months and a couple of press releases' to change these companies' business practices, which rely on data collection. Federighi didn't name Google specifically, but likewise, it's pretty clear which company he's referring to.

In the interview, Federighi also addressed two other criticisms of Apple's privacy stance: that it shouldn't be storing Chinese' users iCloud data in China, where the country could spy on it; and that its choice not to collect much user data has made it fall behind when it comes to develop AI features, like Siri. On China, Federighi suggests that storing data within the country isn't as big of a risk for Apple as it would be for other companies, because of 'all of our data minimization techniques.' Between encrypting data and collecting a small amount of data in the first place, Federighi says there's not much to access on its Chinese iCloud servers, and that anyone who does gain access wouldn't be able to do much with that information. Federighi also says he sees the choice between collecting data and building powerful new AI features as a 'false trade off.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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