NEWS29 January 2021

Apple CEO calls for greater data privacy

Data analytics GDPR News North America Privacy Technology

US – Apple chief executive Tim Cook has criticised apps that collect too much information from users and called for more comprehensive data privacy legislation globally.

Apple logo on building

During an online keynote at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference yesterday ( 28th January), Cook said: “We can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement – the longer, the better, and all with the goal of collecting as much data as possible.”

Cook did not name individual companies but took aim at what he called “an interconnected ecosystem of companies and data brokers, of purveyors of fake news and peddlers of division, of trackers looking to make a quick buck”, saying it is “more present in our lives than it has ever been”.

He added: “It has never been so clear how it degrades our fundamental right to privacy first and our social fabric by consequence.”

Cook said the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) had provided an “important foundation for privacy rights around the world” and called for comprehensive privacy laws in the United States, as well as new international agreements to “enshrine the principles of data minimisation, user knowledge and user access and data security across the globe”.

“Together we must send a universal ad humanistic response to those who claim a right to users’ private information about what should not and will not be tolerated,” he added.

The comments came as Apple announced changes that include the requirement for apps on the app store to share their privacy practices.

The company is also introducing an update that will require apps to obtain users’ permission before tracking their data cross apps or websites owned by other companies.