Tim Cook VICE Interview Is Nice, But Reveals Little

The Tim Cook VICE interview that was on HBO (and YouTube) last night was nice, but we learned nothing new about…well, anything.

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Tim Cook VICE Interview

Watching these interviews makes you feel good as an Apple user, but it’s the same talking points discussed in previous interviews. A couple things that stood out to me were Apple’s removal of Alex Jones, and Apple’s Chinese data centers.

Cook denies the Chinese government now has an easier time getting Chinese customers’ information:

It’s not easy for anybody to get it. I mean it’s it’s encrypted like it is everywhere. And so no, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t get caught up in the, ‘Where’s the location of it?’ I mean, we have servers located in many different countries in the world. They are not easier to get data from being in one country versus the next.

Cook said removing Alex Jones from Apple’s podcasting app for hate speech is an example of why human curation is important:

What users want from us and what we’ve always provided them is a curated platform. We think the what the user wants is someone that does review these apps, someone that does review the podcasts, someone that on like Apple news, where a human is selecting the top stories. And that’s what we do. We don’t take a political stand. We’re not leaning one way or the other. You can tell that from the stuff on the App Store and in podcasts etc. You’ll see everything from very conservative to very liberal. And that’s the way I think it should be.

I’d like Apple to be more transparent on what exactly is going on in China. Sure Tim Cook reassures us that Apple still controls the iCloud encryption keys (although they too are stored in China), but it’s still easier for the Chinese government to take Apple to court over accessing Chinese users’ data. Apple does share transparency reports about government requests for data.

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