Privacy and transparency are odd bedfellows, to say the least. And yet, Apple CEO Tim Cook is attempting to promote this seemingly contradictory amalgamation in the modern tech space while being surrounded by Silicon Valley firms — like Facebook — that are under increasing scrutiny for its lack of privacy and transparency. Throw in user security as a major issue that needs dealing with and a clear resolution that’s a consequence borne out of the lack of widespread privacy and transparency.
The future of technology is entering an interesting intersection with the public in which the real debate regarding within the consumer market is whether these influential tech firms will take the opportunity to look in the mirror and self-regulate for its consumers or if the government (local, state and/or federal) will eventually be required to legislate decisive, impactful action in this powerful industry?
Right now, the public is angry at the lack of privacy that has always been hearsay around our peripheral. But thanks to recent testimony and reporting, disconcerting evidence of violations to our privacy could be reaching a breaking point. Perhaps the numbers of consumers who boycott and/or disconnect from particular digital platforms won’t bankrupt these companies. However, a substantial number of customer departures could, ironically, be enough to significantly disrupt the disruptors of the 21st-century.
Even though Mr. Cook surprisingly advocates for less screen time — if that is a concern for an individual user of an iPhone or related Apple product (of which I agree) — I will surprisingly ask that you set aside thirteen minutes and forty-five seconds of screen time for a recent interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook conducted by Norah O’Donnell, who will be the new anchor of “CBS Evening News.”
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Tim Cook is the best traditional CEO you can get for the ever-expanding tech industry in the Wild West of Silicon Valley in the 21st century because of his thoughtful leadership and inclination to communicate and debate tough issues with some frequency as well as his outspoken thoughts involving transparency and privacy.
Mr. Cook appears to be doing the right things (sans the critically important Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak-level of innovative prowess and imagination) for managing the financial and moral expectations of a firm with a net worth that has been hovering around an estimated $1 trillion.
Tim Cook will never be Steve Jobs as the leader of Apple and that’s ok. The former simply thinks different than the latter.
Now Mr. Cook still has a few big-picture problems that he and his team at Apple need to find solutions to in the near future. One of these problems is an imaginative innovative breakthrough (as noted above), but that’s a discussion for another day.
Regarding user privacy, Mr. Cook and his genius bar in Cupertino would benefit greatly from developing an update for all of its products that are easy to understand and use. And also like its products, this next-level solution to privacy by Apple should be presented in the way the iPod was dramatically brought out of the pocket by the late Mr. Jobs.
The penchant for performing with Hollywood-caliber drama regarding product reveals is unique to Apple — in the architecturally simplistic yet spiritually imposing Steve Jobs Theater no less — and in a time when customers are wary of tech’s expansive reach, a transparent presentation that’s singular in its purpose (privacy) would add an assurance to Apple users while putting the necessary pressure on its competitors and contemporaries in the tech industry to find a similar solution for their companies before government installs its own world wide web of regulations that would assuredly bring a couple of positive changes whilst usher in 98 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things.
Building more trust, no matter the application will always be insanely great.