Apple CEO Cook backs comprehensive federal privacy laws in the U.S., warns data being ‘weaponized’

“The head of Apple on Wednesday endorsed tough privacy laws for both Europe and the U.S. and renewed the technology giant’s commitment to protecting personal data, which he warned was being ‘weaponized’ against users,” Kelvin Chan reports for The Associated Press. “Speaking at an international conference on data privacy, Apple CEO Tim Cook applauded European Union authorities for bringing in a strict new data privacy law this year and said the iPhone maker supports a U.S. federal privacy law.”

“Data protection has become a major political issue worldwide, and European regulators have led the charge in setting new rules for the big internet companies. The EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, requires companies to change the way they do business in the region, and a number of headline-grabbing data breaches have raised public awareness of the issue,” Chan reports. “‘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, to applause from hundreds of privacy officials from more than 70 countries.”

“Cook warned that technology’s promise to drive breakthroughs that benefit humanity is at risk of being overshadowed by the harm it can cause by deepening division and spreading false information. He said the trade in personal information ‘has exploded into a data industrial complex,'” Chan reports. “‘This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich only the companies that collect them,’ he said… His speech comes a week after the iPhone maker unveiled expanded privacy protection measures for people in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, including allowing them to download all personal data held by Apple. European users already had access to this feature after GDPR took effect in May. Apple plans to expand it worldwide.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Kudos to Cook for pushing to protect users’ privacy while other tech firms abuse it with abandon. Hopefully, a U.S. GDPR will happen sooner than later.

FBI investigating Facebook security breach where attackers accessed 30 million users’ personal information – October 12, 2018
Google exposed user data, did not disclose to public fearing repercussions – October 10, 2018
After trying and failing to hide the issue, Alphabet pulls plug on Google+ after bug exposes data from up to 500,000 users – October 8, 2018
Facebook discovers security breach affecting 50 million users – September 28, 2018
Facebook is giving advertisers access to users’ shadow contact information – September 27, 2018
42% of U.S. users have ‘taken a break’ from Facebook; 28% have deleted the Facebook app in the past year – September 5, 2018
Researchers find Google harvests more data from Android – and Apple iOS – users than most people think – August 21, 2018
Google hit with lawsuit accusing them of tracking phone users regardless of privacy settings – August 20, 2018
Google tracks users movements even when explicitly told not to – Associated Press – August 13, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg loses $16 billion in record Facebook fall – July 26, 2018
Facebook stock plunges as users vanish – July 25, 2018
Apple highlights user privacy as Facebook exec steps down – June 14, 2018
The 18 things you may not realize Facebook knows about you: Firm reveals the extent of its spying in a 454-page document to U.S. Congress – June 12, 2018
Facebook confirms sharing users’ personal data with Chinese companies – June 6, 2018
Apple’s macOS Mojave removes integration with third-party internet accounts like Facebook – June 6, 2018
Apple borks Facebook’s pervasive personal data-harvesting operation – June 5, 2018
Apple requested ‘zero’ personal data in deals with Facebook – CEO Tim Cook – June 5, 2018
Facebook CEO blasts Apple’s latest privacy protections as ‘cute virtue signaling’ – June 5, 2018


  1. Tim Cook must have forgotten how Google and Facebook make tens of billions of dollars a year by collecting user data to sell to anyone who is willing to pay the price. There are a lot of powerful people who have investments in those wealthy and powerful companies and they’re not going to do anything to prevent those companies from invading privacy.

    The way Facebook operates, it’s so easy to create false stories and spread them like wildfire. Wall Street doesn’t care how a company makes money, so Facebook will continue to have lots of big investors backing the company. I doubt any U.S. regulators are going to stop Facebook from doing what makes it popular. Facebook has barely gotten a slap on the wrist in terms of fines for its data breaches.

    Apple is going to be the only company actually concerned about protecting user privacy because they’re not making money from selling personal data. Meanwhile Google and Facebook will continue to reap the financial benefits of selling user data to whatever companies want it. That data will be used by those companies to bombard consumers with constant ads and collect huge amounts of ad revenue. I’m sure that’s not going away any time soon as long as there is plenty of money to be made.

    If consumers don’t care about their own privacy, then absolutely nothing will change. I’m certain that free services are far more important than privacy to most consumers as most consumers don’t have much worthwhile data to protect. U.S. citizens are definitely happy to have access to all free services. I would think other countries’ citizens feel the same way.

    Tim Cook and Apple are not going to be praised for this privacy stance and will likely make a lot more enemies.

  2. Weaponized data, we need a warning for this? Heck Apple’s home nation has been a war monger since 1776. What a loser country is has become, weaponized data, maybe it will help them in their quest for that weapons of mass destruction program in Iraq.

    1. “Apple’s home nation” “weapons of mass destruction” “Apple’s home nation” “weapons of mass destruction” “Apple’s home nation” “weapons of mass destruction” “Apple’s home nation” “weapons of mass destruction” “Apple’s home nation” “weapons of mass destruction”

      So the RW mental obsession broken record problems continues unabated, tone-deaf and spewing more hatred for the USA. Have FIVE questions for you:

      1) Name “terrorist nations” that cut off prisoner heads while they are still alive on video.

      2) Name “terrorist nations” that burn bodies in cages while they are still alive on video.

      3) Name “terrorist nations” that line up hooded Christian captives on a beach and execute them in cold blood on video.

      4) Name “terrorist nations” that stone women in public.

      5) Name “terrorist nations” that execute gay citizens.

      MDN is in “Apple’s home nation” so why do you come here to post the same HATE over and over if it so bad and repugnant to a liberal elitist living in a SUPERIOR country, hmmm? That makes absolutely no sense.

      STFU already!…

      1. That is rich coming from you Goeb, the principal agent of political hate on this site. You haven’t condemned your buddy’s pipe bombing because obviously you’d rather see half of Americans killed off to enable one party rule. You are blind to your own overconsumption of totalitarian xenophobic fact-free politique.

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