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The U.S. government will begin accepting Apple Pay mobile payments starting in September, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Friday.
Apple Pay uses a short-range wireless system called NFC to enable payments from a mobile device. Users will be able to make payments and receive funds for a variety of federal programs — like National Park admission fees and Social Security benefits.
Cook revealed the new partnership at a White House cybersecurity summit at Stanford University, during a brief speech that focused on the importance of user privacy and Apple's efforts in that area. In a dig at other tech titans like Google, he stressed that Apple's business model is built on selling devices, not selling personal information about users' Web content or emails.
The Apple CEO struck a personal note at the end of his speech: "Too many people do not feel free to practice their religion, express their opinion or love who they choose," he said. In October 2014, Cook became the first Fortune 500 CEO to come out as gay.