Apple CEO Tim Cook, a long time advocate for consumer privacy, has said that he supports the idea of tech companies facing harsh regulations that should outline just how they’re able to use customer data.
Speaking at the China Development Forum in Beijing this past week, Cook was asked about his views regarding what should happen in the aftermath of Facebook’s latest privacy fiasco. Cook has this to say “I think that this situation is so dire and has become so large a problem that some well-crafted regulations have become incredibly necessary.” “The ability of anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life shouldn’t exist.” Cook didn’t specify what he wants to see in any potential legislation, but he made it a point to underline that lawmakers should take care in creating it. In an astonishing moment during an otherwise on-message interview earlier this week, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg didn’t oppose the idea of outside regulation.The Cambridge Analytica scandal has led many people to review their Facebook settings, and many have been shocked to discover the massive volume of third-party apps that have access to their account and personal information. Whilst others had no clue the extent to which Facebook had built portraits of their interests, likes, and other details pulled from their history of interacting with the social network
Cook finished his speech by adding “We’ve worried for a number of years that people in many countries were giving up data probably without being fully aware and that detailed profiles were being built of them. One day something would occur and people would be incredibly offended by what had been done without them being aware of it,Unfortunately that prediction has come true more than once.”
Apple CEO making these statements in might raise some eyebrows, as Apple itself recently handed over control of Chinese iCloud accounts to China-based data servers to comply with local law. The company’s iPhones continue to offer strong encryption in China, but the thought that iCloud backups could be more prone to government snooping is quite worrying.