Apple CEO Tim Cook strongly advocates for privacy. Calling it a fundamental human right, Cook has not only stood against pressures to implement privacy features like App Tracking Transparency (ATT) but also has personally lobbied against legislation that could impact users’ privacy and protection like bills calling for sideloading.
Now, Cook has written to the U.S Senate in support of strong privacy legislation at the federal level. The letter is addressed to the Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and the Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Frank Pallone (D-NJ).
Highlighting the Apple’s protections, Tim Cook requested senators for strong legislation to give legal protection to users’ privacy
The Biden administration has drafted the new “American Data Privacy and Protection Act”, a proposed bipartisan bill to chalk out the types of user data companies can collect and how they can use it. As an advocate of users’ privacy, Cook briefly summarized that Apple collects as minimum data as possible and consciously tries to be as transparent about the data usage as possible.
More importantly, he pressed on the need for strong legislation to provide legal protection to users’ privacy. His letter reads as follows:
Dear Chairs Cantwell and Pallone and Ranking Members Wicker and McMorris Rodgers:
Thank you for your ongoing work on privacy legislation. Apple continues to support efforts at the federal level to establish strong privacy protections for consumers, and we are encouraged by the draft proposals your offices have produced.
We recognize that there are outstanding issues to be resolved, but the areas of agreement appear to far outweigh the differences. Your drafts would provide substantial protections for consumers, and we write to offer our strong support towards achieving this shared goal. With your work, coupled with President Biden’s call to better protect children’s privacy, it appears Americans are closer than ever to obtaining meaningful privacy protections.
At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right. It is why we have consistently advocated for comprehensive privacy legislation and contributed to the process whenever possible. It is also why we’ve always built products and features that protect users and their information by default. We do this by minimizing the data we collect, processing as much data as possible on a user’s device, giving users transparency as to what data is collected and control as to how it is used, and building robust systems to protect user data across all our products and services.
While Apple will continue to innovate and develop new ways to protect user data, only Congress can provide strong privacy protections for all Americans. The continued absence of this important legislation will unfortunately perpetuate a patchwork approach to privacy rights that leaves too many without the rigorous standards we hope to see as a result of your hard work.
We strongly urge you to advance comprehensive privacy legislation as soon as possible, and we stand ready to assist in this process in the days ahead.