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Tim Cook pens letter supporting federal privacy law in the US


Apple CEO Tim Cook has penned a letter to United States lawmakers today, calling for the passage of new federal privacy legislation in the United States “as soon as possible.” Cook, who has been meeting with lawmakers in Washington DC this week, says Apple “stand[s] ready to assist in this process in the days ahead. ”

Tim Cook federal privacy law

Other the past several days, a draft of the so-called “American Data Privacy and Protection Act” have begun to surface. The National Law Review describes this as a “bipartisan” effort to pass a “nationwide privacy law.” The draft version of the bill would provide a “comprehensive nationwide data privacy framework” among other changes:

  • Establish a strong national framework to protect consumer data privacy and security;
  • Grant broad protections for Americans against the discriminatory use of their data;
  • Require covered entities to minimize on the front end, individuals’ data they need to collect, process, and transfer so that the use of consumer data is limited to what is reasonably necessary, proportionate, and limited for specific products and services;
  • Require covered entities to comply with loyalty duties with respect to specific practices while ensuring consumers do not have to pay for privacy;
  • Require covered entities to allow consumers to turn off targeted advertisements;
  • Provide enhanced data protections for children and minors, including what they might agree to with or without parental approval;
  • Establish regulatory parity across the internet ecosystem; and
  • Promote innovation and preserve the opportunity for start-ups and small businesses to grow and compete.

In his letter today, obtained by 9to5Mac, Cook acknowledges that there are still “outstanding issues to be resolved” among lawmakers, but that the “reds 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 gaining meaningful privacy protections.

Cook goes on to say that Apple will “continue to innovate and develop new ways to protect user data,” but that only Congress can “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,” he says. “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.”

The full letter can be found below.

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 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 gaining 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 whenever possible process. 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.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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