Apple Chief Pushes for US Privacy Law

Tim Cook

It is time for rest of the world, including my home country, to follow your (EU) lead. Although, unsurprisingly Cook took the opportunity to promote how Apple protects user privacy, perhaps mindful of how their competitor Google takes a more active approach to data analytics.

Today the CEO's from Apple, Google and Facebook spoke at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy in Europe.

In a separate address on Wednesday, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was beamed into the same European Union conference to deliver a recorded defence of his business, declaring that data collection was a necessary condition to deliver ad-free services that were "affordable for everyone". Users in Europe had access to those features upon GDPR's enaction. Noting that Cook's comments echo the words of privacy advocates, who have always been pushing for regulations that protect consumers, Paul Bischoff, privacy advocate with Comparitech.com, said, "We're already starting to see progress in the United States along those lines, such as California's Consumer Privacy Act".

The third is the "right to access", he said, emphasizing that companies "should recognize that data belongs to users, and we should all make it easy for users" to access their data and choose to delete data. Technology companies have been concerned about strict and varying state-level privacy laws in the United States, such as the one signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year that goes into effect in 2020. That's rattled the big tech companies, which are pushing for a federal law that would treat them more leniently.

While Cook is seen by investors and industry watchers as a safe pair of business hands capable of running one of the world's biggest companies with skill, his delivery and style is often said to lack the aplomb of his predecessor, Steve Jobs. In many more nations regulators are asking tough questions - and crafting effective reform.

Apple has claimed that it "has strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems".

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Companies should de-identify customer data or not collect it all.

Second, the right to knowledge.

He also made references to the Europe Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and said that the US should take inspiration from that initiative. The iPhone and Mac computer giant has stood out in its explicit declarations that Apple prefers to protect its customers' personal data.

The tools allows users to get a copy of data Apple has collected linked to an Apple ID, request Apple correct personal data, as all as data stored in iCloud, a record of purchases, as well as retail and support transactions. The company has long advocated that privacy is a human right and refused to weaken its iPhones' security measures even at the behest of the federal government.

"At Apple, we are optimistic about Apple's awesome potential for good, but we know that it won't happen on its own". "But we know that it won't happen on its own". Apple makes most of its money by selling iPhones and other devices instead of making money from users' data through advertising. As I've said before, 'Technology is capable of doing great things. But it doesn't want to do great things.

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