Apple’s Tim Cook calls for tougher regulation of personal data

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BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 24: Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc. Tim Cook speaks on the first day of China Development Forum (CDF) 2018 at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on March 24, 2018 in Beijing, China. China Development Forum (CDF) 2018 is hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China on March 24-26. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Apple has long positioned itself as a privacy advocate, but it’s ramping up that stance in light of Facebook’s data sharing with Cambridge Analytica. In a discussion at the China Development Forum, Tim Cook said that tougher, “well-crafted” regulation of personal data is likely “necessary” in the wake of Facebook’s crisis. The ability to learn “every intimate detail of your life” through your internet history and contacts “shouldn’t exist,” Cook said.

He argued that Apple had been concerned about just this sort of privacy breach for a long time. It saw that were giving up info without understanding what they were doing, and that companies were creating profiles that would leave people “incredibly offended” when they learned the truth. This has happened “more than once,” Cook added.

Facebook hasn’t been free from scrutiny, as it has needed permission to collect and share your data through an FTC consent decree from 2011. That’s not the same as all-encompassing regulation, but it’s now facing an FTC investigation over the Cambridge Analytica incident for allegedly violating that decree. Officials may decide that decrees like this aren’t enough to curb privacy behavior.

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