Apple CEO Tim Cook calls on Congress for privacy regulations

Apple didn't have a booth set up at CES this year, but it certainly had a presence, partly due to a massive advertisement that was visible from outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center. It said, "What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone", a play on the "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" ads. The message was clear, that Apple is the company that cares about privacy.

In an op-ed in Time today, Tim Cook reiterated just that. The Apple CEO said that it's time for people to "stand up for the right to privacy", calling on the United States Congress to pass federal legislation. Cook called for four principles in such regulations:

"First, the right to have personal data minimized. Companies should challenge themselves to strip identifying information from customer data or avoid collecting it in the first place. Second, the right to knowledge—to know what data is being collected and why. Third, the right to access. Companies should make it easy for you to access, correct and delete your personal data. And fourth, the right to data security, without which trust is impossible."

Cook also called for a 'data-broker clearinghouse', where all data brokers would have to register. Consumers would be able to track their data that has been recorded, bought, collected, and sold.

The example provided was for when someone purchases an item from an online retailer. That retailer could have sold information about your purchase to a data broker, and the user is never told about it, nor did the user ever explicitly agree to it. Cook says that every customer should have the opportunity to speak up and say they didn't consent to such data collecting.

The Apple CEO has made calls for privacy regulation before, including at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Belgium last year. As for if anything will actually come of this, we'll just have to wait and see.

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