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Apple CEO Renews Call For US Privacy Regs

Apple chief Tim Cook urged the US government and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to give users more control over the information collected about them, blasting the proliferation of what he called an unchecked shadow economy of data dealers.

Cook pressed Congress to pass “comprehensive federal privacy legislation” with provisions requiring companies to minimize the amount of data they collect about consumers and making it easier for consumers to “access, correct and delete” data gathered about them.

He also said the FTC could provide added protection through the creation of a “data-broker clearinghouse”, with which data dealers would have to register. This would allow users to track sales involving their information and give them greater power to “delete their data on demand, freely, easily and online, once and for all,” Cook wrote.

“Consumers shouldn’t have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives.”


The comments reiterated many of the same points Cook made at a privacy conference in Brussels in 2018 and come as part of an ongoing effort by the company to differentiate itself on the issue of privacy.

At its WWDC event in June 2018, Apple took a swing at Facebook and Google over their data collection practices, implementing new features in iOS to prevent tracking of user information and activity. Apple made another statement on privacy at CES earlier this month with a massive billboard hovering over the convention venue which stated: “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone”.

But the likelihood that Cook will have his wishes granted seems small. Privacy legislation is yet to gain real traction among US politicians at the federal level, though individual states including California have implemented their own protections. Additionally, the FTC stated in testimony before the Senate in November 2018 it needs more authority from Congress to effectively regulate privacy and security violations.—Mobile World Live

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