Musk’s ultimatum to Apple

Musk is threatening to ban all Apple devices from his businesses after Apple announced its integration with ChatGPT

Martin Crowley
June 11, 2024

Following Apple’s WWDC keynote address yesterday, where they confirmed a partnership with OpenAI–meaning its voice assistant, Siri, will now connect to ChatGPT–Elon Musk has threatened to ban all Apple devices from all his businesses.

What did Musk say?

Following the announcement, Musk took to his platform, X, to rant about Apple’s integration with ChatGPT, calling it “an unacceptable security violation” and warning that “if Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level” Apple devices would be banned from his businesses and visitors would have to check their Apple devices at the door where they’ll be “stored in a Faraday cage.”

Why does Musk have an issue with Apple’s integration with ChatGPT?

While most Siri queries will be answered by Apple Intelligence, Apple has built an algorithm that will automatically connect with ChatGPT to answer users’ broader questions. While this seems like a great enhancement for Siri, Musk believes that this is a violation of privacy, as Apple is effectively handing user data to a third party that “they don’t understand and can’t themselves create” slamming it as “not protecting privacy at all!”

“Apple has no clue what’s actually going on once they hand your data over to OpenAI. They’re selling you down the river.”

Is Musk right: Does this integration mean a violation of user privacy?

While Musk is right–Apple can’t possibly understand the inner workings of OpenAI–both OpenAI and Apple have confirmed that the integration does include privacy protections, such as requests will not stored by OpenAI, and users’ IP addresses will be obscured.

If Siri can’t answer a user query, it will always ask the user for permission to share the question with ChatGPT and present the answer within the Apple device (with neither party storing the user’s data) giving the user the choice over whether they share their data or not and comply with OpenAI’s data privacy rules.

This approach seems like a viable one, and has left the public questioning Musk’s intentions with his threat to ban Apple devices from his businesses: Is he genuinely concerned about user privacy–even after Apple and OpenAI confirmed strict data safety protocols are in place–or is this part of his ongoing feud and lawsuit with OpenAI over its prioritization of commercial success over humanity.