Speaking today at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC) in Brussels, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that businesses these days are creating a digital profile of each user that are swapped among each other. Saying that the trade in digital profiles among businesses has created a "data-industrial complex," Cook is asking the U.S. government to pass "a comprehensive federal privacy law."
Cook says that businesses collecting personal data belonging to users are in effect, conducting surveillance. The executive stated that "These stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them. This should make us very uncomfortable." While not naming the companies he had in mind, Apple's CEO might have been referring to Google and Facebook when he complained that some tech firms are putting "profits over privacy."
The executive had kind things to say about Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was put into place on the continent to protect Europeans' privacy. This regulation can fine companies that use individual's personal information without permission, up to 4% of global revenue for the proceeding fiscal year.
During his speech, Tim Cook mentioned his proposal for a U.S. privacy law based on four personal rights. First, he says that U.S. consumers should have the right to have personal data minimized so that companies cannot connect data with the person it belongs to. Secondly, Cook says that U.S. consumers should have the right to know what data is being collected, and the reason why it is being collected. The CEO adds that U.S. consumers should also have the right to easily obtain a copy of their personal data, make corrections, and have it deleted. The fourth right is the right to security.
You can watch Tim Cook's speech by clicking on the video at the top of this article.