Tim Cook defends Apple's search deals with Google

The CEO has previously criticised big tech's privacy policies.

Apple's Tim Cook is always on hand to explain why his company is better at privacy than its rivals (read Google and Facebook), which have been mired in data scandals of late. When Cook said personal information is being "weaponized against us with military efficiency," while calling on GDPR-style rules in the US, it was clear who his targets were. Reality, however, is a lot more complicated than that. Though Apple doesn't have a targeted advertising business, it still stocks Facebook's apps in its App Store and receives billions from Google to make it the default search engine on its platforms.

In an Axios on HBO interview, Cook was asked why Apple takes Google's cash in exchange for putting its search engine up front and centre on the iPhone -- in effect serving as a vessel for it to siphon more data. "I think their search engine is the best," replied Cook matter-of-factly, before admitting that the Apple-Google partnership isn't "perfect."

He then listed off the security measures Apple has added to Safari to "help" users better navigate the search engine. "Look at what we've done with the controls we've built in. We have private web browsing. We have an intelligent tracker prevention," said Cook, adding: "What we've tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day. It's not a perfect thing. I'd be the very first person to say that. But it goes a long way to helping."