In this open letter published via Time, Apple CEO Tim Cook explains why he and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation to protect American consumers from personal data misuse.
Cook shines a light on the largely unchecked secondary market for data – companies that buy large sets of data from data brokers, bought from a number of different sources such as online retailers that don’t have permission to sell them – and outlines four principles he believes should guide legislation. These principles include: the right to have personal data minimized, the right to knowledge, the right to access, and the right to data security.
He states: “We believe the Federal Trade Commission should establish a data-broker clearinghouse, requiring all data brokers to register, enabling consumers to track the transactions that have bundled and sold their data from place to place, and giving users the power to delete their data on demand, freely, easily and online, once and for all.”
Cook affirms that the issue is solvable. As the CEO of one of the most influential and largest tech companies in the world, he strongly advocates for the power of technology and innovation to improve lives. However, he makes clear that tech and good ID must go hand-in-hand for technology to truly achieve its full potential.