Tim Cook Speaks on Privacy in New Interview: ‘We Try Not to Collect Data’

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke with Charlie Rose in a two part-interview, and the second segment of the show is airing tonight. In the second half of the interview, Cook focuses on the driving force behind Apple, his own personal values, and the company’s thoughts on privacy.

Cook’s first comments are on Apple’s privacy views, and he says that the company tries to collect as little data about its users as possible and that he believes that people “have a right to privacy.”

Our view is that when we design a new service we try not to collect data. So we’re not reading your email. We’re not reading your iMessage. If the government laid a subpoena on us to get your iMessages, we can’t provide it. It’s encrypted and we don’t have a key.

Our business is based on selling [products]. Our business is not based on having information about you. You are not our product.

As he has stated previously, Cook says that no one has backdoor access to Apple’s servers. “We would never allow that to happen,” he says, repeating his prior statement on the issue. “They would have to cart us out in a box before we would do that.”

On his values, Tim Cook says that he believes in treating all people with dignity, regardless of color, religion sexual orientation, and gender. “Everyone deserves respect.” Cook goes on to say that Apple is driven by a goal to enrich people’s lives and change the world, not to be the largest company.

You know, I was at — I was at Compaq at a time where the objective was to become a $40 billion company. Well, employees don’t get excited about that. This isn’t something you wake up and you go, “I’m going to take the hill today to do 40″ — I mean, you know? It’s just not that. But changing the world? These are the things that people work for. And this pushes people. And so, this is who we are as people. And it’s the values of our company. It’s been the values of our company forever. And it’s to Steve’s credit. He put these values in the company… I know I probably said it too many times, but it’s a privilege of a lifetime to be there, because I think there’s no place like it on earth.”

The first part of the Charlie Rose interview aired on Friday, with Tim Cook speaking about Steve Jobs’ continued influence on Apple Products, the company’s thoughts on the Apple TV, and the decision to buy Beats Electronics.

During the first half of the interview, Tim Cook also said that Apple is working on products that “no one knows about” and that “haven’t been rumored about yet,” noting that some of the products may go on to be released while others will be shelved.

Tim Cook’s full commentary on Apple and privacy issues will be available when the complete second part of the interview airs later tonight on PBS.