From a cynical perspective, nothing in life is truly free. There’s always a cost attached somewhere, whether it be material or otherwise, and the bill will eventually come due. As we’ve seen over and over again in recent times, that’s especially true when it comes to personal data which is shared on the interwebs.
Whether it’s hacking scandals that exposes user information to unseemly characters or instances of data farming in which personal details are being used in unseemly fashion, many folks have had their eyes opened about the perils of sharing their info on a willy nilly basis.
On a positive note, the various headline making instances have raised awareness. That increased awareness is leading to changes, as massive technology companies are facing increased scrutiny on their practices. We consider that to be a good thing, as sunlight remains an outstanding disinfectant.
During a recent interview with Vice, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained that users simply need to be more conscious about data they may be sharing.
“The narrative that some companies will try to get you to believe is: ‘I’ve got to take all of your data to make my service better.’ Well, don’t believe them,” he said. “Whoever’s telling you that, it’s a bunch of bunk.”
To Cook’s credit, he’s one of the few tech executives who have been outspoken and proactive about the issue. It’s a refreshing change from the typical Silicon Valley refrain that there’s nothing to see behind the curtain.
As for Apple, he explains that the company is sticking by its stance to “collect as little data as possible.” He believes privacy is “one of the most important issues of the 21st century.” While he doesn’t consider himself to be a “pro-regulation kind of person,” he acknowledges that changes are the likely result.
“I think some level of government regulation is important to come out on that,” Cook added.
The reckoning is just beginning for the tech sector. As each new scandal emerges, user patience is growing thinner. Regulators will have no choice but to act, and that could lead to massive changes at the various companies. It happens in every industry before too long, and the end result is that the strong survive and/or consolidate, while those without a good foundation wither up and go away.
It seems like Apple will almost undoubtedly be in the former category. We do not have the same confidence about a number of its major rivals.
Read more: CNBC