Apple CEO Tim Cook, in London this week, gave The Telegraph (and employees) an exclusive look at the Apple Watch—and also shared his (and the company’s) unequivocal stance on privacy. In his bluntest remarks to date, he warned that personal information is being “trafficked around” and people “don’t fully understand what is going on.”
He emphatically stated that Apple is a fierce protector of customers’ private data—a concern as Apple Watch gets ready to launch in early April with health tracking and third-party apps.
“None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information,” Cook said. “This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn’t give it up. We shouldn’t give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.”
As for Apple Watch, which faces skepticism ahead of its big reveal on March 9, Cook highlighted the features he believes will delight customers:
• people will want to wear it as a fashion statement Cook said, praising Jony Ive for its “beautiful” design
• it’s an excellent timepiece, he added, accurate to 50 milliseconds
• it can be worn in the shower, replace car keys and function as a credit card via Apple Pay
• there’s an “explosion” of apps coming to the Apple Watch ecosystem
• on the health-tracking front, its haptic feedback (“Taptic Engine” in Apple parlance) will gently tap the wrist each hour to remind users to stand up and go for a walk
• a rewards system (and a special badge for each achievement) will incentivize users to meet fitness goals and increase targets
• he also praised SVP Angela Ahrendts (fated to forever have “former Burberry CEO” attached to her name) for creating a seamless omnichannel and customer experience to support the Apple Watch universe.
Asked to comment on the brand’s best year ever, he added: “I’m proud we stayed true to our North Star. We are pro-privacy, pro-environment and pro-human rights.”