APPLE chief executive Tim Cook challenged US President Barack Obama on the need to maintain online safety in the gay community during the recent White House Cyberprivacy Summit at Stanford University.

Cook, who publicly came out as gay last year, believes that information sharing between the private sector and the government “can make the difference between life and death”.

“We still live in a world where all people are not treated equally,” he said.

“Too many people do not feel free to practice their religion or express their opinion or love who they choose. Or love who they chooseA world in which that information can make the difference between life and death.

“If those of us in positions of responsibility fail to do everything in our power to protect the right of privacy, we risk something far more valuable than money – we risk our way of life.

Cook also said they owed their customers “nothing less than the best protections that we can possibly provide.”

Obama, who spoke after Cook at the Summit, said that to ensure they meet the challenges of this information age, the private sector and the government had to work together.

“When people go online, they shouldn’t have to forfeit the basic privacy we’re assured as Americans,” he said.

Last year, Apple implemented extra security ensuring that only users have the key to unlock messages and documents, making it impossible for the government to spy on iPhone users.

H/T Towleroad

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