Apple CEO Tim Cook Touts Privacy Rules In The US Modeled On GDPR

News, Regulation | October 24, 2018 By:

Apple CEO Tim Cook has endorsed Europe’s tough General Data Protection Regulation (commonly referred to as GDPR). He also called for a similar law to be implemented in the US.

Speaking at an international conference on data privacy, Cook said,  “In many jurisdictions, regulators are asking tough questions. It is time for rest of the world, including my home country, to follow your lead,” Cook said. “We at Apple are in full support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States,” he said.

As a manufacturer of devices used by a large majority in the west, Cook’s support for stricter regulations will have an impact. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, resides in a state that is trying to implement privacy regulations similar to the EU’s GDPR by 2020, and other states are working on similar measures.

Cook said that user data collection “has exploded into a data industrial complex. Our own information, from the everyday to the deeply personal, is being weaponized against us with military efficiency,” he said.  “This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them. This should make us very uncomfortable. It should unsettle us.”

Apple recently implemented a measure that would allow users in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to download all personal data held by Apple.

Violations of the GDPR can lead to big fines, with large companies like Apple particularly susceptible, since the size of the fines is based on users.