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Tim Cook at Apple's September iPhone launch. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Apple CEO Tim Cook is making his strongest case yet that the tech industry must embrace privacy or lose its chance to reshape the world.

Why it matters: Apple has made user privacy a central component of its design and pitch to consumers, drawing a sharp contrast with companies like Facebook and Google.

Details: Cook is speaking Wednesday in Brussels to an international conference of privacy regulators. In the speech, he is expected to argue that technology can play a broad role in addressing some of humanity's greatest challenges, including disease and climate change — but only if it maintains public trust.

"We are optimistic about technology’s awesome potential for good. But we know that it won’t happen on its own," Cook plans to say, according to a source. “We will never achieve technology’s true potential without the full faith and confidence of the people who use it." 

Cook is also expected to:

  • Express support for a "comprehensive federal privacy law” in the U.S.
  • Reaffirm Apple's position that privacy is a fundamental human right
  • Praise Europe's GDPR as evidence that “good policy and political will can come together to protect the rights of us all.”  

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.