Apple CEO Tim Cook came out strongly against what he referred to as the ‘weaponization’ of user data today. Speaking at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Brussels, he added that Apple is in full support of a “comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States.” He also praised Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR which provides consumers with greater control over their personal data collected by tech companies.
Cook said that user data is being “weaponized with military efficiency” by some companies who are using it to make money for themselves. His comments follow some recent data breach incidents that have brought this issue to light and have started a debate on whether companies should be doing more to protect user data.
“We shouldn’t sugarcoat the consequences. This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them,” he said. Cook added that users should always know what data is being collected and what it’s being collected for. “This is the only way to empower users to decide what collection is legitimate and what isn’t,” he said.
Cook added that good policy and political will can come together to make this happen so that the rights of everyone can be protected. He reiterated the company’s support for a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States, one that could be similar to the EU’s GDPR when it’s made.
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