Governments are increasingly claiming that they need monitoring powers to combat crime and terror. Cook said he fundamentally disagrees.
“None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. 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.”
“History has taught us that privacy breaches have resulted in very dire consequences. You don’t have to look back too far or be a historian to see these things. They are readily apparent.”
When asked about giving up privacy to combat terrorism, Cook said:
“Terrorism is horrible and must be stopped. All of us must do everything we can do to stop this craziness.” He added that “these people shouldn’t exist. They should be eliminated."
Cook notes that terrorists are already encrypting their data, so forcing Apple to make its customers data available to the authorities would do nothing to protect the public.
“Terrorists will encrypt. They know what to do. If we don’t encrypt, the people we affect [by cracking down on privacy] are the good people. They are the 99.999pc of people who are good.”
If Apple didn't encrypt users' private financial, health and personal information, Cook said it would inevitably "be taken".