Tim Cook, Apple CEO, recently delivered the keynote address for a privacy conference, attended by policy experts and European Union (EU) lawmakers in Brussels, Belgium, where he advocated for new data privacy laws in the United States, similar to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Cook said that modern technology has led to the creation of a “data-industrial complex” in which personal data is “weaponized against us with military efficiency.” According to Cook, this problem doesn’t just affect individuals, but whole societies.
“Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies,” said Cook. “Rogue actors and even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false. This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy.”
The EU’s GDPR forces companies collecting user data to implement the highest possible privacy safeguards by default. It also gives the EU the ability to fine companies up to 4 percent of their global revenue if they misuse user data.
“It is time for the rest of the world . . . to follow your lead. We at Apple are in full support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States.” Cook then went on to propose four essential principles for privacy legislation: (1) the right to have personal data minimized; (2) users’ right to know what data is being collected about them and what they are being collected for; (3) the right to access, correct and delete that data; and (4) the right for that data to be kept securely.