Apple CEO Tim Cook took a bold and public stance this week against the FBI’s request to decrypt an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters.
But when Google CEO Sundar Pichai finally responded on Twitter, hours later, his support for Cook and Apple’s stance was … muted, to say the least.
Where Cook called the FBI’s request a “chilling” demand that “would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect,” Pichai’s strongest statement on the matter was that this “could be a troubling precedent.”
The optimistic view here is that Pichai and Cook care deeply about this issue, and Google — and Microsoft, for that matter, which has yet to issue any kind of statement directly — are just trying to wrap their heads around the complicated legal and ethical issues at play. ‘
But if you look at the business forces in play here, it shows just how different, at their core, the two most valuable companies in the world really are.