Tim Cook Takes a Swipe at Tech Companies during His Stanford Commencement Speech

Tim Cook underlined the importance of privacy and responsibility of tech companies at his commencement speech at Stanford. Addressing the outgoing Stanford batch of 2019, Tim remarked how certain Silicon Valley companies are abusing their positions of power.

During his speech, Tim Cook praised technology and the role it plays in “remarking society.” He asked the students to be fearless in their pursuit of building greater things. However, he also took an indirect swipe at companies like Facebook which was recently embroiled in Cambridge Analytica scandal. He further added that these companies abuse their power without taking the consequences into consideration.

Cook encouraged tech companies to have clarity and think about their products. His remark was as follows, “If you build a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos; taking responsibility means having the courage to think things through.” He further added that “Our problems in technology, in politics, wherever are human problems.,” “From the Garden of Eden to today, it’s our humanity that got us into this mess and it’s our humanity that’s going to have to get us out.”

Tim Cook also spoke at length on how the tech industry is currently being associated with a less noble innovation which is claiming the credit without accepting responsibility. He said that “We see it every day now, with every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind-eye-turned-to-hate-speech. Fake news poisoning our national conversation. The false miracles in exchange for a drop of your blood.”

Our Take

The Apple head honcho also talked at length about the importance of privacy and warned that ignoring privacy will lead to a world of self-censorship. That being said this doesn’t come as a surprise, Tim Cook has always been an advocate of privacy and his earlier speeches at Stanford reflect the same.

Lately, we have seen big tech companies abusing their position of power. Facebook was rightly blamed for the Cambridge Analytica Scandal wherein the company named “Cambridge Analytica” had used personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent. The user profiles were then fed to serve carefully targeted political ads. We only hope that tech companies are not abusive when it comes to user data and privacy.

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[via Stanford News]

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