Tim Cook Calls for GDPR Style Privacy Laws in the U.S.

Engadget reports: Apple CEO and long-time data privacy advocate Tim Cook has made an impassioned speech calling for new digital privacy laws in the US. At a privacy conference in Brussels, Cook said that modern technology has resulted in a "data-industrial complex" where personal information is "weaponized against us with military efficiency," and in a way that doesn't just affect individuals but whole sections of society.

“We are optimistic about technology’s awesome potential for good. But we know that it won’t happen on its own. Every day, we work to infuse the devices we make with the humanity that makes us.”

Follow EU's Lead

Cook praised Europe's "successful implementation" of privacy law GDPR, and said that "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." He outlined four key areas that he believes should be turned into legislation: the right to have personal data minimized; the right for users to know what data is collected on them; the right to access that data; and the right for that data to be kept securely.

Cook has been outspoken about privacy rights before, and has repeatedly called for tougher regulations in the past -- something which has jarred with critics claiming such regulations would be an obstacle for innovation. However, he pre-empted this take during his Brussels speech. "This notion isn't just wrong, it's destructive," he said. "Technology's potential is and always must be rooted in the faith people have in it." He then followed up his speech with a tweet that asked:

"It all boils down to a fundamental question: What kind of world do we want to live in?"

Changes are already in the making in the U.S. Earlier this year, California passed a sweeping privacy law that "gives consumers the right to demand that their data be deleted and to bar companies from selling their data without them losing access to services or being charged a higher price." The question is what will these laws look in other states and countries, and what will they mean to us all, people and businesses alike.

Read the full article in Engadget.