In the aftermath of Facebook’s data scandal, Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling for stronger privacy regulations for tech companies.
According to The Verge, Cook was speaking at the China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday (March 24) when he was asked about what he thinks should happen in the aftermath of the revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, was able to access data on 50 million Facebook users beginning in 2014. Cambridge Analytica was then employed by the Trump campaign.
“I think that this certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary,” he said. “The ability of anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life – from my own point of view, it shouldn’t exist.”
The data scandal has prompted many Facebook users to take a closer look at their privacy settings, which has led to revelations about the number of third-party apps that have access to their account and personal information.
Cook himself said that Apple has been worried about the number of people around the world who easily handed over their information without fully understanding how it could be used.
“We’ve worried for a number of years that people in many countries were giving up data probably without knowing fully what they were doing, and that these detailed profiles that were being built of them, that one day something would occur and people would be incredibly offended by what had been done without them being aware of it,” he said. “Unfortunately, that prediction has come true more than once.”
Despite Cook's comments, there are concerns over Apple recently giving control of Chinese iCloud accounts to China-based data servers to comply with local law. While the accounts will be protected by strong encryptions, some are worried that iCloud backups could be more susceptible to government snooping.