This is a new salvo of Apple's boss against what he has already called " the industrial complex of data ". After targeting, without naming, Google and Facebook in front of MEPs in October, Tim Cook this time calls the US trade regulator (FTC) to ensure transparency on the business of resellers of personal data.
The latter play the role of brokers by purchasing databases, compiling them into a single database to be resold. " We believe that the FTC should establish a clearing house that would require all data brokers to register, allow the consumer to track transactions aggregating and selling their data, and give users the power to delete their data on demand. , for free, easily, online and once and for all Says the leader of the iPhone manufacturer.
Tim Cook pushes for a law in the United States
The main data resellers are called Acxiom or Experian. In the midst of a scandal damaging his reputation, Facebook had already declared last year its intention to work less with some of them.
In Europe, the European Data Protection Regulation, which has been in effect since last spring, is supposed to prevent any resale of personal data without the consent of the Internet user to whom it relates. While many states in the United States intend to learn from the European example, Tim Cook pushes for national legislation across the Atlantic.
In the "Time", he recalls the four principles that he would like to see transcribed in a US law and that he considers compatible with Apple's practices: the right to the minimum collection of personal data, the right to know what data have been collected and why, the right to have access to correct or delete them and the right to be protected from the threat. All these principles have already been imposed on companies in Europe.
"Not too difficult, not too late"
" The problem is soluble - it's neither too big, nor too difficult, nor too late ", Pleads the leader who has apparently decided to make privacy issues an axis of communication Apple at the beginning of this year. " In 2019, it's time to stand up for the right to privacy He exclaims in the first lines of his tribune.
Last week, the brand had a giant advertisement on the front of a Las Vegas hotel, visible from the entrance to the World Electronics Fair. Taking up one of the proverbs of the city of vice, he wrote: " Everything that happens in your iPhone stays in your iPhone. "
In fact, Apple jealously keeps the personal data that its devices collect from its customers (geolocation, health data, interests, etc.) and sells them to no one. The company claims that it is content to collect a minimum of information, that these are very quickly anonymized and that they are reused only to allow Apple's systems to work. But no one can really check as the secret hovers around its technologies. And many mobile app publishers indirectly access similar data through the App Store.