Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook has revealed that the technology giant has helped the UK government to investigate the terror attacks in London and Manchester.
The Cupertino, California-based company has set its stall out strongly against the UK government's Investigatory Powers Bill, which aims to weaken encryption and make the data of millions of law-abiding citizens less secure. However, it has helped the government with information it has relating to the terror attacks.
"We have been co-operating with the UK government not only in law enforcement kind of matters but on some of the attacks," Cook told Bloomberg.
"I cannot speak on detail on that. But in cases when we have information and they have gone through the lawful process we don't just give it but we do it very promptly," he added.
A string of attacks in the UK have led to Prime Minister Theresa May calling on technology companies to prevent their products and services being used by extremists, suggesting that many of the companies that provide web-based services are enabling terrorists a "safe space" in which their ideology captures the attention of the masses.
May has always been an advocate of giving government more powers to gain access to data from tech companies; as Home Secretary she aimed to push through the original ‘Snooper's Charter' several years ago. But the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Google have been reluctant to weaken their own policies around privacy and encryption.
Cook didn't specify which attacks led to the company's co-operation, but did state that there was useful information that could be shared in the form of metadata despite Apple's encryption policy.
"[The encryption] doesn't mean no information. Metadata exists and that's very important for building a profile," he said.
"The reality is that cyberattacks on people and governments - these affect your safety and security," he added.
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