In an interview with CNN, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the “privacy thing” involving tech companies such as Facebook, has gotten totally out of control. He said that he understands why there’s talk of regulating tech companies and that its a fair discussion to be having, but that he disagrees that there should ultimately be regulation.
In the interview with CNN, Cook said:
“Generally, for me, I'm not a big fan of regulation, I think self-regulation is the best. But when it's not working, and in some cases it's not working, you have to ask yourself what form of regulation might be good. And I think it's a fair question many people are asking at this point.
I think the privacy thing has gotten totally out of control and I think most people are not aware of who is tracking them, how much they're being tracked and sort of the large amounts of detailed data that are out there about them.”
Tim Cook’s comments came on the same day as the company’s keynote address when it showed off macOS Mojave which comes bundled with new tracking protection features. Safari, for example, now has the ability to remove social media buttons from websites which helps prevent companies like Facebook track users around the web. Additionally, the browser now obfuscates its fonts and configuration settings which gives advertisers even less information to go on.
Cook’s beliefs on self-regulation are no surprise, other tech leaders have tried saying that the industry should self-regulate and we have seen this somewhat from the likes of Facebook and Twitter over election issues. What is interesting, however, is that a leader in the industry like Cook is understanding of the idea that the tech sector needs regulation, it could lead to others supporting regulation outright.