Apple Chief: Companies Are ‘Weaponizing’ User Data
Apple chief Tim Cook has warned that some companies have "weaponized" user data in an effort to increase their profits.
Cook made the statement Wednesday in a speech to an international conference on data privacy in Brussels, Belgium. Technology industry representatives and privacy officials from more than 70 countries attended the gathering.
Brussels is the headquarters of the European Union, or EU, which launched a strong new data privacy law in May. Cook said the EU law is an example of how officials in many areas are "asking tough questions" about data privacy issues.
Cook said Apple fully supports proposals for a new federal law in the U.S. to protect users' data and privacy. "It is time for the rest of the world, including my home country, to follow your lead," Cook said.
Calls for new U.S. laws to protect user data have increased since major data breaches have been reported. They have affected millions of internet and social media users across the United States and Europe.
Unlike Google and Facebook, Apple has avoided major data release mistakes and strong criticism of its privacy policies. Apple makes most of its money by selling iPhones and other devices instead of making money from users' data through advertising.
Cook said technology companies are continuing to create new inventions to aid humanity. However, this comes with increased risks for misuse of personal information.
Cook said the trade in personal information "has exploded" into a major money-making operation. "Our own information, from the everyday to the deeply personal, is being weaponized against us with military efficiency," he said.
Cook said he considers the collection of personal information by companies a form of "surveillance." Such data serves "only to enrich the companies that collect them." He said people should be concerned.
Cook's speech came a week after Apple launched expanded privacy protection measures for people in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The measures permit users to learn about and capture all personal data held by Apple. The changes took effect earlier in Europe and Apple plans to expand them worldwide in the future.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google chief Sundar Pichai did not attend the Brussels event. But both sent their own video messages.
Zuckerberg said Facebook takes seriously its "basic ethical responsibility" to safeguard personal information. But he added that "the past year has shown we have a lot more work to do."
Both Zuckerberg and Pichai said they supported new privacy protection laws. Pichai noted that Google recently proposed measures that would build on the EU's new privacy measures.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.federal law 联邦法律
Federal law prohibits government money from paying for abortions.
2.privacy protection 隐私保护
We will meet the customer demand for privacy protection.
3.ethical responsibility 道德责任
Many people feel that there’s an ethical responsibility to protect them.
4.international conference 国际会议
I shall shortly be attending an international conference.
5.The changes took effect earlier in Europe and Apple plans to expand them worldwide in the future.
took effect 生效
The aspirins which the patient had taken soon took effect.
It was nearly an hour before the sleeping pill took effect.
6.They have affected millions of internet and social media users across the United States and Europe.
social media 社交媒体
We have all witnessed the power of social media.
Many different consumer and social media environments employ the technique.
库克指出，苹果完全支持美国制定一项新联邦法律，以保护用户数据和隐私 。库克表示：“是时候让其他国家，包括美国在内，跟随你们的脚步了 。”
自从重大数据泄露被曝光后，呼吁美国立法保护用户数据隐私的呼声越来越高 。这些事件已影响美国和欧洲数百万互联网和社交媒体用户 。
不同于谷歌和脸书，苹果公司在这起重大数据泄露事故中脱身，也避免了对其隐私政策的强烈批评 。苹果公司主要是销售手机和其他电子设备，而不是出卖用户数据通过广告谋利 。
库克表示，科技公司将继续创造新发明助力人类发展 。但这会增加滥用个人信息的风险 。
库克称，个人信息交易“爆炸式”发展成一项主要的盈利业务 。“从日常生活到隐秘信息，个人信息正在被高效地武器化，用来攻击我们 。”
库克说，他认为公司收集个人信息是一种“监视”行为 。这些数据“只会让收集数据的公司更加壮大 。”他说人们应该关注这个问题 。
库克发表演讲一周前，苹果公司推出了扩大隐私保护范围的措施，保护美国、加拿大、澳大利亚和新西兰的用户安全 。这些措施允许用户了解、获取苹果公司持有的所有个人数据 。
脸书总裁扎克伯格和谷歌总裁皮查伊均未出席布鲁塞尔的会议 。但二人都发来了视频 。
扎克伯格表示，脸书非常重视保护个人信息的“基本道德责任” 。但他也表示，“过去一年的事件表明，我们还有很多工作要做 。”
扎克伯格和皮查伊表示，他们支持出台新隐私保护法 。皮查伊表示，谷歌最近提议的措施将以欧盟新隐私措施为基础 。