Tim Cook To Duke University Graduates: 'Think Different, Be Fearless'


In recent events, Apple CEO Tim Cook has once again targeted Google and Facebook indirectly over their data collection practices while making his commencement speech at Duke University.

Sound familiar? For the second time in roughly a month, Cook forcefully took Facebook (ticker: FB) to task for its handling of its members' personal information, cementing a narrative pushed by Apple (AAPL) that juxtaposes its strict privacy approach - and by extension, its business model - with Facebook and other ad-dependent companies that aggressively monetize data.

"Fearlessness means taking the first step even if you don't know where it will take you", Cook said.

Just before he delivered his speech, Cook tweeted a photograph of himself, with his peers, at his college graduation ceremony almost thirty years ago.

Cook, however, emphasized at Duke that Apple did things differently, explaining: 'We reject the excuse that getting the most out of technology means trading away your right to privacy'.

".we choose a different path, collecting as little of your data a possible, being thoughtful and respectful when it's in our care because we know it belongs to you", he said. "I wouldn't be in this situation", Cook said during a town hall discussion back in March. "And not at all aligned with the truth", Zuckerberg told Vox.

Cook told the Duke students they could be the solution to the epidemic of data abuse in American society. "You are not powerless to fix them".

Being the CEO of one of the world's most iconic, and therefore most powerful, tech company has ceased to be just an executive and management position. "In every way, at every turn, the question we ask ourselves is not "what can we do" but "what should we do".

Well, Cook's speech encapsulated everything from climate change and its effect to Apple's use of the renewable energy and certainly telling the graduates how important an obligation it is for them to leave the world a better place than they had found it.

He added: 'Because Steve taught us that's how change happens and from him I learned to never be content with the way that things are'.

The company caught flack when it announced in February a plan to move iCloud accounts registered in mainland China to state-run Chinese servers.