Apple announced new privacy features and a push to educate consumers on how the company uses their data Wednesday night in an open letter from chief executive Tim Cook. In the letter, Cook also took some not so subtle digs at competitors who mine user data for advertising purposes:

We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.

Basically all of the major Internet-based tech sites -- including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo and Microsoft -- rely at least in part on targeted advertisements based on information culled from users' online activities.  In 2012, Google agreed to pay a $22.5 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges it had bypassed the privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser to track users and show them targeted advertisements.

Apple itself has had some recent high-profile privacy problems, including the breach of iCloud accounts belonging to major celebrities -- resulting in the theft of private images and their distribution online. But in the wake of those issues the company announced a bevy of new security practices. On Wednesday the company unveiled more changes with the latest update to its operating system. With iOS 8, Apple said, it has has reworked its encryption so that only a device's owner can access the information it contains.