Apple's CEO Lambasted U.S. Tech Giants for Data Exploitation at the 'Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference'
During yesterday's Financial Call, Apple's CEO stated during his opening statement that Apple continues to set new standards to protect users right to privacy, not just for our own products, but to be the ripple in the pond that moves the whole industry forward. This morning Apple sent out a press release to commemorate 'Data Privacy Day' by sharing a report titled "A Day in the Life of your Data." Later in the morning, Apple's CEO spoke at the online Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference and lambasted tech giants for “data exploitation” calling for reform around the practices of selling user data to target ads.
During his speech, Cook stated that "If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are not choices at all, then it doesn’t deserve our praise, it deserves reform."
Without naming specific businesses, Cook criticized companies’ algorithms for perpetuating the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories, saying "we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that all engagement is good engagement."
Cook reiterated calls for a U.S. privacy law much like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. He said it’s time for "worldwide laws and new international agreements that enshrine the principle of data minimization, user knowledge and data security around the globe."
Following an update to Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system software this spring, users will be prompted to explicitly permit or deny developers the ability to track their data across apps or websites.
It’s expected many consumers will choose not to allow this, making it harder for apps to show users ads based on their past online activity, drawing the ire of Facebook and other advertising companies that rely on such abilities.
In full-page newspaper ads in December, the social network attacked Apple over the plans, saying the features would hurt small businesses and on Wednesday, Facebook told analysts the iOS changes could curb its revenue growth as noted in a copy of the ad below.
Apple says the features will give users more transparency about how their data is used, and in a way that still enables advertising. For more, read the full Bloomberg report.
Below is a video covering Apple's CEO speech on Privacy.