×

Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls for Tougher Privacy Laws

Apple CEO Tim Cook called for the U.S. to enact tougher privacy laws similar to Europe’s GDRP Wednesday, and warned against negative consequences of tech companies collecting huge amounts of data for their artificial intelligence efforts. Giving a speech to EU regulators in Brussels, Cook said that his company was “in full support of a comprehensive, federal privacy law in the United States.”

Cook later reiterated key points of his speech on Twitter, calling Europe’s privacy regulations “good policy.” “We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right,” he added.

Apple’s chief executive also used his speech to broadly criticize fellow tech companies and their role in the current political climate. “Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies,” he said.

He didn’t mention any of Apple’s competitors by name, but described parts of the tech sector as a “data industrial complex” that was “weaponizing” personal data “with military efficiency.”

“Taken to its extreme, this process creates an enduring digital profile that lets companies know you better than you may know yourself,” Cook said.

Popular on Variety

Cook also laid out four core principles for data protection: Companies should avoid collecting data, or de-couple data from personally identifiable information, when possible; users should be aware of the data that is being collected on them; companies should give users tools to move and delete their data; and personal data should be kept secure.

Apple has long tried to differentiate itself from competitors like Google with a bigger emphasis on privacy, and more recently started to do a lot of artificial intelligence computation on users’ devices as opposed to in the cloud.

However, the company’s isn’t exactly insulated from other companies in the tech space: Not only do companies that run apps on Apple’s devices collect a lot of data, Apple also gets billions of dollars from Google in exchange for making it the default search engine on iPhones and iPads.

More Digital

  • VRrOOm Launching VR Platform for Immersive,

    VRrOOm to Launch VR Platform for Immersive, Multi-User Streaming of Live Events

    French VR company VRrOOm is launching a six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) social VR platform that operates within the VRChat live platform, and enables multiple users to take part in live events, and includes the possibility of real-time photo-realistic representation. Louis Cacciuttolo founded VRrOOm in 2016 after working three years at THX in San Francisco. [...]

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    Spotify in Talks to Acquire Bill Simmons' The Ringer: Report

    Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer, the digital content and podcast network launched by ESPN alum Bill Simmons in 2016, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. A representative for Spotify declined to comment on the report. Reps for Ringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify’s [...]

  • Ted Sarandos Milestone Award PGA

    Netflix Leader Ted Sarandos Plans Broader Creative Push for the Future

    Ted Sarandos, who has helped to upend the way audiences receive and consume entertainment as Netflix’s chief content officer, will be honored with the Milestone Award at the 31st annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 18. Game-changers including Steven Spielberg, Sherry Lansing, Robert Iger, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ron Meyer have previously received the recognition, and [...]

  • peacock-ads-NBCU

    NBCU's Peacock Marks Media's Latest Try to Connect Consumers, Commercials

    In an era when consumers feel more empowered to avoid TV commercials, NBCUniversal is the latest media company to try to get them to bring ads back into their TV lives. One of the key selling points of big streaming-video services like Netflix and Disney Plus is that subscribers don’t have to endure the commercial [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content