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Apple boss calls for US version of GDPR

Written by Peter Walker
25/10/18

Apple’s chief executive has called for a federal privacy law in the US and took a swipe at the how social media companies have treated personal data.

Speaking at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Europe, Tim Cook said he admired much about the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), suggesting something similar should be adopted across the pond.

He reaffirmed Apple’s commitment to protect user data, stating that privacy is a basic human right and that’s why his company decided data collection was against its values – which meant it has avoided the data breach scandals that have hit the likes of Facebook and Google recently.

“Today that trade has exploded into a data industrial complex,” Cook said. “Our own information, from the everyday to the deeply personal, is being weaponised against us with military efficiency.”

He pointed out that algorithms are turning harmless preferences into hardened convictions.
“If green is your favourite colour, you may find yourself reading a lot of articles - or watching a lot of videos - about the insidious threat from people who like orange,” Cook said. “We shouldn’t sugar-coat the consequences, this is surveillance, and these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them.”

In June, Apple said it would halt the data gathering activities by the likes of Facebook with the release of new versions of its iOS and Mac operating systems.