In Brussels on Wednesday, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc., tore into other tech companies for performing what he called “surveillance,” on users by collecting their data and breaching their privacy. Bloomberg’s Natalia Drozdiak and Stephanie Bodoni report:
In some of his harshest rebukes of his competitors yet, Cook sought to distinguish the iPhone maker from Silicon Valley competitors, like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook, both under scrutiny for recent user data breaches.
“We shouldn’t sugarcoat the consequences,” he said Wednesday. “This is surveillance and these stockpiles of data serve only to make rich the companies that collect them. This should make us uncomfortable.”
Cook has previously criticized the companies for basing their business models on harvesting personal information for advertising, while highlighting that Apple tries to collect as little of it as possible.
“We at Apple believe that privacy is a fundamental human right but also recognize that not everyone sees it that way,” Cook said, referring to his competitors. “The desire to put profits over privacy is nothing new.”
Cook also reiterated calls for federal privacy laws in the U.S. similar to those unveiled in Europe, called the General Data Protection Regulation.
In the wake of those new rules, regulators and lawmakers in Europe and the U.S. have trained their eyes on Facebook and Google, particularly following revelations of potential user privacy violations.
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