Saturday 20 July 2019

Cook: time to take on murky 'data brokers'

Apple chief executive Tim Cook. Photo: PA
Apple chief executive Tim Cook. Photo: PA
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

'Shadowy' data brokers that hold billions of records about us but stay hidden from accountability need to be regulated better, Apple's chief executive Tim Cook says.

Mr Cook has called for a new privacy law in the US, claiming that unseen entities that trade in personal data are eroding people's trust in technology.

The long-standing Apple boss wants US authorities to move closer to a European level of data privacy and to "shine a light on actors trafficking in your data behind the scenes".

"Consumers shouldn't have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives," Mr Cook said in an op-ed piece for Time.

"One of the biggest challenges in protecting privacy is that many of the violations are invisible,"

Mr Cook's move comes as the Irish Data Protection Commissioner pursues 16 separate data privacy investigations into multinational firms based in Ireland. At least two of these relate to Facebook, according to a spokesman for the DPC.

Apple has begun taking a harder line on the issue of privacy, seeking to distance itself from companies such as Facebook and Google.

Irish Independent

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