After blasting tech firms for “weaponizing” our data, Apple CEO Tim Cook called for federal regulation of data privacy. The move comes as competitors Facebook and Google have been facing some embarrassing data breaches, and Washington seems eager to rein in the tech industry. Calling attention to data privacy also gives Apple an opportunity to reinforce its brand by reminding the world that it is much more a device company than a data company. But Apple still profits from our data, if only indirectly. Google, for instance, uses search data to target ads, earning revenue from advertisers. Google also pays Apple billions of dollars to be the default search engine on Apple devices.
Correction (Nov. 1, 2018): A previous audio version of this story misidentified what Google sells. The company sells targeted ads based on user preferences. The audio has been corrected.