Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a keynote address at the annual International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners at Brussels, Belgium where he called for a comprehensive federal privacy law in the US like the GDPR. Europe’s new data and privacy rules, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), was rolled out earlier this year and it clarifies individual rights on the personal data collected by companies around the world for purposes such as targeted advertising.
“Fortunately, this year, you have shown to the world that good policy and political will can come together to protect the rights of everyone. We should celebrate the transformative work of the European institutions tasked with the successful implementation of the GDPR,” Cook said. “It is time for the rest of the world, including my home country to follow your lead. We at Apple are in full support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States,” he added.
The Apple CEO pointed out that privacy is a fundamental human right, which should be rooted in four essential rights. The right to have personal data minimised comes first, where companies should essentially “challenge themselves to deidentify customer data or not to collect it in the first place.” Cook also posted a series of tweets explaining the four essential principles to protect privacy.
The second one is the right to knowledge, the center of which is the customers. “Users should always know what data is being collected and what it is being collected for,” he said. The third right, Cook pointed out, is the right to access which should give users the freedom to get a copy of, correct as well as delete their personal data and companies. Finally, he said that the right to security, which is foundational to trust and all other privacy rights is the fourth principle.
We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. No matter what country you live in, that right should be protected in keeping with four essential principles:
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) October 24, 2018
Cook said the notion that companies can never achieve technology’s true potential if they are constrained with privacy regulations is wrong. “We will never achieve technology’s true potential without the full faith and confidence of people who use it,” he pointed out.