Tim Cook is standing by Apple’s decision to continue its search engine dealing with Google, despite the two companies’ seemingly conflicting ideas about privacy. In an interview with Axios on HBO (via The Verge), Cook was asked straight out why he is comfortable taking billions of dollars from Google for default search engine placement in light of Apple’s own strong stance on protecting user privacy. Cook responded by emphasizing that Apple builds security and privacy measures directly into its Safari browser, which allows them to be more comfortable about providing users with access to “the best” search engine without compromising privacy:
I think their search engine is the best. Look at what we’ve done with the controls we’ve built in. We have private web browsing. We have an intelligent tracker prevention. 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.
According to recent research by Goldman Sachs reported by Bloomberg, Apple may be taking in up to $9 billion this year from its deal with Google, and while other analysts place the number at a lower estimate of between $3 billion and $4 billion, there’s no doubt that it’s a significant portion of Apple’s reported $37 billion in services revenue.