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Apple's Tim Cook Kicks Off Product Launch by Addressing FBI Feud

Apple CEO: 'We Have A Responsibility' to Help Customers Protect Data 0:49

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the tech giant's product launch event on Monday by briefly — but passionately — addressing the company's ongoing legal battle with the government over whether it should help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino massacre shooters.

"We did not expect to be in this position, at odds with our own government," Cook said.

Apple has resisted a court order to build a piece of software that would allow federal investigators to try passwords on Syed Farook's iPhone 5C until they got in. The company has said such a tool would be a target for hackers and criminals, and pose a security risk to millions of devices.

Read More: Why Are Apple and the FBI Battling Over an iPhone?

"We built the iPhone for you, our customers, and we know that it is a deeply personal device for many of us," Cook said. "The iPhone is an extension of ourselves."

"We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy."

Apple and the government are scheduled to appear for a hearing in the Federal District Court for the District of Central California on Tuesday.