Tim Cook: The 'time is now' to have 'rigorous' federal privacy regulation

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

This focus on privacy has been ingrained into the tech behemoth for a while now, and it seems to start at the top. Apple CEO Tim Cook has gone so far as to publicly argue in favor of strong privacy regulations in the past, and he continued to do so during a recent interview with ABC News.

"I think the government needs to regulate this area," Cook said, referring to the tech industry's rampant data collection. "I am not a fan of regulation in general. I think it can have unexpected [consequences]. But I think we all have to admit that when you've tried to do something and companies haven't self-policed, that it's time to have rigorous regulation, and I think we've passed that time."

"I think we all have to admit that when you've tried to do something and companies haven't self-policed, that it's time to have rigorous regulation, and I think we've passed that time."

Earlier in the same interview, Cook noted that "people should be skeptical" of large companies, going on to advise users to carefully inspect tech firms (and, presumably, their data collection practices) before they decide to do business with them.

Of course, he didn't waste the opportunity to make Apple look good at the same time. "Privacy, in particular, is one of the top issues of this century," he said. "We don't want to know all the details about your life... We want your information held on your device, so it's between you and your phone, not you and Apple."

Cook accurately states that this is a "very different" kind of approach than the one most other tech companies opt for, but that business model seems to have worked for Apple thus far.

This isn't the first time Cook has called for more stringent regulations in the tech industry. "Technology needs to be regulated," he said back in April. "There are now too many examples where the no rails have resulted in a (sic) great damage to society. We are advocating strongly for regulation - I do not see another path at this point."

It remains to be seen whether or not politicians will heed Cook's input.

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psycros

TS Evangelist
No the time was the long ago the minute Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple started collecting our online data...
Any data Apple collects is a small subset of whatever your cell provider keeps so..not really an issue. Apple is the ONLY tech company that's even trying to do something to limit the dangerous push towards universal surveillance. Yes, any data that the megaspies already have on you is already a lost cause, but that's hardly a reason to throw our hands up and pretend we have to keep being violated. And its not just the tech biz, either - every company now tries its damndest to pry into your private life. You're in a checkout line in a store and they ask for your phone number, for no reason..and people just stupdily hand it out. Your bank is selling your most sensitive personal information to every marketing company on Earth, and if you go to the trouble of opting-out you can bet they'll be an update to their privacy agreement at least twice a year that invalidates your request. Its a never-ending battle but its one of the few worth fighting. Otherwise we're all going to wake up some morning to find Orwell's ghost standing there, shaking his head in sorrowfull disbelief as the stormtroopers are going door-to-door.
 

Plutoisaplanet

TS Addict
Any data Apple collects is a small subset of whatever your cell provider keeps so..not really an issue. Apple is the ONLY tech company that's even trying to do something to limit the dangerous push towards universal surveillance. Yes, any data that the megaspies already have on you is already a lost cause, but that's hardly a reason to throw our hands up and pretend we have to keep being violated. And its not just the tech biz, either - every company now tries its damndest to pry into your private life. You're in a checkout line in a store and they ask for your phone number, for no reason..and people just stupdily hand it out. Your bank is selling your most sensitive personal information to every marketing company on Earth, and if you go to the trouble of opting-out you can bet they'll be an update to their privacy agreement at least twice a year that invalidates your request. Its a never-ending battle but its one of the few worth fighting. Otherwise we're all going to wake up some morning to find Orwell's ghost standing there, shaking his head in sorrowfull disbelief as the stormtroopers are going door-to-door.
Mozilla is a good example of another tech company that actively tries combatting surveillance (see a recent example with a letter written to congress). But you're right that they’re few and far between.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
Mozilla is a good example of another tech company that actively tries combatting surveillance (see a recent example with a letter written to congress). But you're right that they’re few and far between.
Mozilla has been selling out their users to Google or Yahoo for ages now, and they didn't seem to have much respect for either the civil rights or privacy of their former CEO. I hate to say it but Mozilla has long since become one of the bad guys. I wouldn't touch main branch Firefox these days.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Mozilla has been selling out their users to Google or Yahoo for ages now, and they didn't seem to have much respect for either the civil rights or privacy of their former CEO. ...[ ]....
Well, if Mozilla was funded in the extreme as is Google, they wouldn't have to rely on Google as a search engine.

Accordingly, as soon as you type something and hit 'enter', you're in Google's realm.

Financial privacy has long been a joke, considering the fact that Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union have all existed long before the internet became a "thing".

You obviously can feel as you choose about Mozilla, or Firefox in particular, but the instant anyone double clicks on "chrome.exe", their soul is resigned to eternal damnation.

Take this FWIW, but as near as I can tell, "civil rights", are whatever some monolithic special interest group demands that they be, for any given reason, and on they day before they decide to demand it.
 
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Shaitan

TS Rookie
Uh-oh. Like we should regulate the right to repair? Or the insane profits for which the bog four pay no taxes or minuscule laughable ones? Sure.
 

Dosahka

TS Addict
Thank you Tim. Europe already started the ball rolling. May it spread to every corner of the world. Of course, an eye needs to be kept on backdoors the government would want.
Apple denied multiple times to built in kind of backdoor nor help crack devices which might've been helped in an investigations. If you buy an iDevice and encrypt it (Macs are not encrypted by default unlike iPhones, iPads...) you have your privacy, they might have data on you but they are no exploiting, not with 3rd parties. For Apple doesn't matter of you are the good, bad or the ugly, their devices/eco system will protect you as much as they can (which is questionable), but everyone's right to have privacy (good or bad).
And in the interview Tim dodges 2 times the bullet of "should we pay for our privacy", he is suggesting Yes, buy our devices to have bigger privacy, No it is your right to have privacy and control your data.
IMHO, there should be a system to have your own data and every service you use (Email, online shops...etc) can request access to it and if you accept it, you will have control over what and when and whom you share that data with under what conditions. This is too futuristic and complicated to be true :D