Congress has been struggling for years to adopt a federal law on data privacy, but on Friday lawmakers won an unexpected ally in Apple's Tim Cook, CEO.
In an interview with ABC News, the director said, large tech companies have not corrected their mistakes, and it's time for the government to intervene – ideally with a federal privacy law. "I think we can all admit that when you've tried to do something and businesses aren't checked themselves, it's time for strict regulations," he explained, "and I think we've passed that time."
But while many are focused on splitting companies such as Facebook into separate, smaller entities, Cook also said supervisors are too focused on antitrust measures and not sufficiently focused on data privacy. It is useless to split up large technical companies without paying attention to how much user data is still being collected. "Unless you take an action where there is considerably less data in the companies that are left," Cook told ABC, "you have done nothing."
The news comes as tech giants including Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google facing numerous antitrust investigations by the Ministry of Justice as well as many public advocates-general. The companies are accused of anti-competitive trade practices that may have harmed consumers.
Cook admitted that if one of the companies turns out to be a monopoly and supervisors can prove that they have abused that monopolistic power, a breakdown may be needed. "That is up to the courts and regulators to decide, not to me to decide," he added. "But in case the answer is yes, there is a monopoly, yes abused, then the cure for one of those is apart."
Cook's comments come days after Apple broke the site on a new campus in Austin, Texas, which is expected to cost $ 1 billion. In anticipation of the event, Cook and President Trump traveled through an electronics factory outside of Austin to emphasize American production.
The tour shone a spotlight on Cook & # 39; s unusual relationship with President Trump, who has largely escaped public investigation. Cook is a member of the President's Workforce Policy Advisory Board and has used this relationship to advocate a favorable policy toward Apple.
That relationship also prevented Cook from correcting a number of incorrect statements made by Trump during the tour. "I would always talk about Apple, that I want to see Apple build installations in the United States, and that's what happens," the president told reporters after the factory tour. In fact, the factory is not from Apple and has been producing Mac Pro & # 39; s since 2013.