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Tim Cook brought his pro-privacy views to his Duke commencement speech today

“We reject the excuse that getting the most out of technology means trading away your right to privacy.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook behind the podium at the Duke graduation
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the commencement speech today at Duke University, using the opportunity to tout his pro-privacy views and to allude to Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

While the speech was full of the regular graduation pablum — “Dare to think different,” “No generation has ever had more power than yours,” “[This is] the best time in history to be alive” — it also had some interesting commentary about data privacy.

“We reject the excuse that getting the most out of technology means trading away your right to privacy. So we choose a different path: Collecting as little of your data as possible, being thoughtful and respectful when it’s in our care. Because we know it belongs to you. In every way and every turn, the question we ask is not what can we do, but what should we do,” Cook told the graduating class of 2018.

Cook doesn’t actually name Facebook, but Cook, a 1988 Duke business school grad, has been know to use public platforms to poke at the social media company’s data collection in comparison to Apple’s. When Recode’s Kara Swisher asked Cook earlier this year what would he do if he were in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s situation, Cook responded, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

You can watch the entire commencement ceremony below. Cook is on at about 2:14.

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