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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.

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.

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