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Tim Cook calls on Congress to pass privacy legislation

Apple CEO Tim Cook smiling
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook writes for TIME: "In 2019, it’s time to stand up for the right to privacy — yours, mine, all of ours."

What he's saying: "This problem is solvable — it isn’t too big, too challenging or too late," Cook writes. "Innovation, breakthrough ideas and great features can go hand in hand with user privacy — and they must. Realizing technology’s potential depends on it."

  • "That’s why I and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation — a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer."

"[W]e 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."

A flashback to Cook's interview with "Axios on HBO" in November: "I'm a big believer in the free market. But we have to admit when the free market is not working. And it hasn't worked here."

  • "I think it's inevitable that there will be some level of regulation. I think the Congress and the administration at some point will pass something." 

Why it matters, from NBC's Dylan Byers: "This is Cook's most aggressive call for federal action on data privacy to date. It is also another shot at rivals like Facebook and Google that have left user data vulnerable to third parties."

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