At a time when big tech giants are facing increased threat of regulations by the US government and the lawmakers over the claims that their growth has stifled competition and hampered innovation, Apple CEO Tim Cook has urged the tech companies to take responsibility for the ‘chaos’ that they have created.
Cook was speaking at the commencement ceremony of the Stanford University for the batch of 2019 when he said that of lately the tech industry, which in the past had revolutionised the world with its innovations, was becoming known for ‘a less nobel innovation belief’ that ‘you can claim credit without accepting responsibility’.
Notably, the Apple CEO did not call out names during his speech at the Stanford University’s commencement ceremony. However, he did mention issues like data breaches, data privacy and fake news, which in itself were a telltale of the companies – Facebook and YouTube (in case you weren’t sure) — that were being plagued by such issues. He also mentioned Theranos, a health startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes that claimed to need very small amounts of blood for performing various blood tests.
“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 single drop of your blood,” Cook said during his speech.
“It feels a bit crazy that anyone should have to say this, but if you built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos,” he added.
Cook also told the Stanford graduates that digital surveillance not only threatened privacy but also creativity and innovation. “If we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated, sold and even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data. We lose the freedom to be human,” he said adding that it is what would ‘stopped Silicon Valley before it got started’.
“The chilling effect of digital surveillance is profound…ironically it is the kind of environment that would have stopped the Silicon Valley…We deserve better. You deserve better,” Cook said.