Earlier this month, a number of nude photos were
leaked stolen from the various celebrities’ iCloud accounts, leaving many questioning whether Apple products are really as secure as they thought. Though he doesn’t explicitly reference the hacking scandal, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the company’s website on Wednesday to publish an open letter affirming Apple’s commitment to users’ privacy, as well as detailing new security measures.
Two-step verification, Mr. Cook writes, will now protect data stored in iCloud:
Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.
And in case you were worried about your future Apple Watch’s ability to know more about your health than you do, Mr. Cook wants you to know that unlike other tech companies, Apple’s not looking to make money off your personal data.
A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.
Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.
Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.
The letter is accompanied by links to three specific privacy explainers, detailing security features in Apple’s products, a general guide to keeping your data safe, and another friendly reminder that they’re not going to turn all of your sexts over to the government.