"I don't believe that the tradeoff here is privacy versus national security," Cook said in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday night. "I think that's an overly simplistic view. We're America. We should have both."
While "60 Minutes" reported Cook is committed to working with authorities to help combat terrorism, he's resolute about making sure the government isn't given a backdoor into smartphones.
"There's likely health information, there's financial information" on your smartphone, Cook said. "There are intimate conversations with your family, or your co-workers. There's probably business secrets and you should have the ability to protect it. And the only way we know how to do that, is to encrypt it."
"Why is that? It's because if there's a way to get in, then somebody will find the way in," he continued. "There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door's for everybody, for good guys and bad guys."
Cook was interviewed before the Paris attacks, according to CBS, but his position has not changed. The encryption issue was addressed in the last GOP debate as candidates discussed whether digital locks have become a hindrance to targeting potential terrorists.
"They need to be asked to bring the best and brightest and the most recent technology to the table," she said.
Apple announced last year that it would turn on encryption for iOS 8 by default, meaning law enforcement would need a person's passcode to access any data on an iPhone. Google's Android Lollipop also offers users the chance to opt-in to encrypt their data.