Tim Cook may get that US privacy legislation he's expecting in 2019

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Apple CEO Tim Cook's expectation that tech giants will be subjected to privacy regulations may soon become a reality, with a pair of U.S. Senators working on a bipartisan bill mandating the protection of consumer data that could be drafted in early 2019.




A subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee discussed a potential bill on Tuesday, one which could allow the Federal Trade Commission the ability to enforce and produce regulations that telecommunications firms should abide by, as well as levying civil penalties, in order to help protect the personal data of consumers.

While no wording has been officially confirmed, Reuters reports Senator Richard Blumenthal advised at the hearing a draft could be finished "early in the session" next year. "I have been working with Senator Jerry Moran on a bipartisan privacy bill that I hope will make very good progress very soon," Blumenthal said.

The bill's debate follows the major breaches of consumer data in recent years, including those of credit reporting agency Equifax and Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, with personal data being stolen and sold online or being misused by firms. Twitter, Google, and Facebook have also received criticism for their handling of data and an underwhelming lack of privacy options offered to consumers.

Current considerations for the bill include the possibility of fining tech firms for misusing or failing to sufficiently protect the data of their users, though not all parties seem to agree. Senator Moran, who is also the chairman of the consumer protection, product safety, insurance and data security subcommittee, is uncertain about imposing civil penalties despite supporting the introduction of privacy rules.

Senator John Thune of the Commerce Committee advised his committee was also looking into potential privacy legislation, though declined to offer details.

The move towards creating privacy legislation comes months after the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, which provides users with more control of their data and imposes rules on firms collecting and storing the data, among other changes.

The work on draft data protection legislation is likely to be welcomed by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is a staunch supporter in protecting the sensitive information of consumers.

In an interview aired on November 18, Cook advised "Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of regulation, I'm a big believer in the free market, but we have to admit when the free market's not working, and it hasn't worked here." Cook added he believes "it's inevitable that there will be some level of regulation" regarding privacy.

Cook has previously spoken in favor of federal regulation, praising GDPR and suggesting "It's time for the rest of the world, including my home country, to follow your lead."

In September, Apple Vice President of Software Technology Guy "Bud" Tribble spoke to the Senate Committee about privacy, advising of Apple's views on user control over data and how it is shared, and that privacy is a fundamental human right. At the time, Tribble said Apple agrees the FTC should "get the resources they need" in comprehensive legislation relating to privacy, and confirmed Apple's support for such federal privacy legislation to be produced.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,370member
    First, Facebook's Cambridge Analytica was not a data breach, Facebook allow Cambridge access to the data via the licensing agreement that was in place. People were just pissed their own information they freely shared with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was used against them. 

    Of course Apple likes the whole privacy idea since their business model does not rely on this model and Apple's competitors model solely rely on having access to people personal information. This goes into the realm of buyer beware and you do not get anything for free, it is people owe fault their information is not private.

    This is no different than Bezos raising his starting wages to $15/hr for Amazon and turning around and supporting legislation requiring his competitors to also do the same thing. He knows Amazon is doing everything to automate its operations so they need less people making $15/hr verse his competitors who are heavily dependent on a low end labor force.

    This is calling using regulations to keep competition suppressed. In these cases it means less competition controlled by government regulations. You think you have problem now wait to the see the solution the government comes up with.
    edited November 2018 SpamSandwichracerhomie3
  • Reply 2 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    Okay, I kinda see what Cook is getting at but I also know this proposed legislation will not affect Apple much if at all. Google and Amazon will take the brunt of this and with good reason I suppose. However, the cynic in me thinks Cook might also be doing this to damage Google and Amazon while portraying Apple as white as new driven snow, a bastion of privacy and goodness. At the end of the day business is business. As Don Michael Corleone said just before ordering Tessio, Barzini, Moe Green wacked, “It’s good business."
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 3 of 11
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,081member
    maestro64 said:
    First, Facebook's Cambridge Analytica was not a data breach, Facebook allow Cambridge access to the data via the licensing agreement that was in place. People were just pissed their own information they freely shared with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was used against them. 

    Of course Apple likes the whole privacy idea since their business model does not rely on this model and Apple's competitors model solely rely on having access to people personal information. This goes into the realm of buyer beware and you do not get anything for free, it is people owe fault their information is not private.

    This is no different than Bezos raising his starting wages to $15/hr for Amazon and turning around and supporting legislation requiring his competitors to also do the same thing. He knows Amazon is doing everything to automate its operations so they need less people making $15/hr verse his competitors who are heavily dependent on a low end labor force.

    This is calling using regulations to keep competition suppressed. In these cases it means less competition controlled by government regulations. You think you have problem now wait to the see the solution the government comes up with.
    What I found interesting in the discussion of the Cambridge/Facebook data sharing thing is something similar happened in the 2008 election where Obama had an app that skimmed very similar data about friends and friends of friends. The difference is, it was lauded by the press as being an astute way to help grow Obama's Grass Roots campaign. Personally, neither one bothered me in the slightest. If you choose to use Facebook, you get treated however they want to treat you. There are reasons I detest the platform and have for many years.
    gatorguydamn_its_hotmacseekertbornotpatchythepirate
  • Reply 4 of 11
    It will be interesting if Ajit Pai who believes that the market should solve all problems without interference will testify against it.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 5 of 11
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,514member
    steven n. said:
    maestro64 said:
    First, Facebook's Cambridge Analytica was not a data breach, Facebook allow Cambridge access to the data via the licensing agreement that was in place. People were just pissed their own information they freely shared with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was used against them. 

    Of course Apple likes the whole privacy idea since their business model does not rely on this model and Apple's competitors model solely rely on having access to people personal information. This goes into the realm of buyer beware and you do not get anything for free, it is people owe fault their information is not private.

    This is no different than Bezos raising his starting wages to $15/hr for Amazon and turning around and supporting legislation requiring his competitors to also do the same thing. He knows Amazon is doing everything to automate its operations so they need less people making $15/hr verse his competitors who are heavily dependent on a low end labor force.

    This is calling using regulations to keep competition suppressed. In these cases it means less competition controlled by government regulations. You think you have problem now wait to the see the solution the government comes up with.
    What I found interesting in the discussion of the Cambridge/Facebook data sharing thing is something similar happened in the 2008 election where Obama had an app that skimmed very similar data about friends and friends of friends. The difference is, it was lauded by the press as being an astute way to help grow Obama's Grass Roots campaign. Personally, neither one bothered me in the slightest. If you choose to use Facebook, you get treated however they want to treat you. There are reasons I detest the platform and have for many years.
    Read something linked from Daring Fireball a few months ago.

    The real genius of Cambridge Analytica was not the data they accessed, but what they did with it.

    Once they analysed it, they decided that there was no way they could convince enough people to vote for Trump for him to win the election. So instead of attempting the much more difficult task of getting people to vote for Trump, they targeted folk who were likely to vote for Clinton and persuaded them not to vote at all.

    That's what I call thinking outside the box.

    lostkiwijony0
  • Reply 6 of 11
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,370member
    Rayz2016 said:
    steven n. said:
    maestro64 said:
    First, Facebook's Cambridge Analytica was not a data breach, Facebook allow Cambridge access to the data via the licensing agreement that was in place. People were just pissed their own information they freely shared with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was used against them. 

    Of course Apple likes the whole privacy idea since their business model does not rely on this model and Apple's competitors model solely rely on having access to people personal information. This goes into the realm of buyer beware and you do not get anything for free, it is people owe fault their information is not private.

    This is no different than Bezos raising his starting wages to $15/hr for Amazon and turning around and supporting legislation requiring his competitors to also do the same thing. He knows Amazon is doing everything to automate its operations so they need less people making $15/hr verse his competitors who are heavily dependent on a low end labor force.

    This is calling using regulations to keep competition suppressed. In these cases it means less competition controlled by government regulations. You think you have problem now wait to the see the solution the government comes up with.
    What I found interesting in the discussion of the Cambridge/Facebook data sharing thing is something similar happened in the 2008 election where Obama had an app that skimmed very similar data about friends and friends of friends. The difference is, it was lauded by the press as being an astute way to help grow Obama's Grass Roots campaign. Personally, neither one bothered me in the slightest. If you choose to use Facebook, you get treated however they want to treat you. There are reasons I detest the platform and have for many years.
    Read something linked from Daring Fireball a few months ago.

    The real genius of Cambridge Analytica was not the data they accessed, but what they did with it.

    Once they analysed it, they decided that there was no way they could convince enough people to vote for Trump for him to win the election. So instead of attempting the much more difficult task of getting people to vote for Trump, they targeted folk who were likely to vote for Clinton and persuaded them not to vote at all.

    That's what I call thinking outside the box.

    Exactly, in one case personal data was used to find the voters to target and convince them to vote one way. The other which everyone feel is evil, was to find people and convince them not to vote using their personal information. Voter suppression has been a tactic that has been used for a long time, it was call make people hate their preferred candidate to the point they will not vote. This is nothing new, but this was usually targeted at the people who only vote one party all the time, this was always seen a fair. This time the target were the people in the middle who will swing their votes, this was seen as evil and this group is off limits from suppressing their vote. Plus the other side did not think of it first so they were more upset.

    I am going to make a prediction, if they put in privacy regulations there will be a carve out which will exempt the political parties from access your private data. Similar to the current do not call list, you can block anyone call who you do not want to hear from and you can have them fined, but if the ones calling you are political you can not fine them or stop their calls. Political parties will not want to give up the access to data they can use to get people to vote the way they want.  
  • Reply 7 of 11
    If something is bad now, just wait til the government gets involved.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Anything that stops Facebook & Google is good .
    tbornot
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Anything that stops Facebook & Google is good .
    Not "anything". Far better that market conditions would do it than a ton of new regulations which stifle innovation or competition.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    steven n. said:
    maestro64 said:
    First, Facebook's Cambridge Analytica was not a data breach, Facebook allow Cambridge access to the data via the licensing agreement that was in place. People were just pissed their own information they freely shared with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was used against them. 

    Of course Apple likes the whole privacy idea since their business model does not rely on this model and Apple's competitors model solely rely on having access to people personal information. This goes into the realm of buyer beware and you do not get anything for free, it is people owe fault their information is not private.

    This is no different than Bezos raising his starting wages to $15/hr for Amazon and turning around and supporting legislation requiring his competitors to also do the same thing. He knows Amazon is doing everything to automate its operations so they need less people making $15/hr verse his competitors who are heavily dependent on a low end labor force.

    This is calling using regulations to keep competition suppressed. In these cases it means less competition controlled by government regulations. You think you have problem now wait to the see the solution the government comes up with.
    What I found interesting in the discussion of the Cambridge/Facebook data sharing thing is something similar happened in the 2008 election where Obama had an app that skimmed very similar data about friends and friends of friends. The difference is, it was lauded by the press as being an astute way to help grow Obama's Grass Roots campaign. Personally, neither one bothered me in the slightest. If you choose to use Facebook, you get treated however they want to treat you. There are reasons I detest the platform and have for many years.
    Facebook is tracking you even if you delete your account, and worse, they are tracking you and building a profile on you even if you’ve never had an account in the first place.

    https://www.trustedreviews.com/news/facebook-tracking-stop-apps-websites-3455023

    https://bgr.com/2018/04/16/facebook-tracking-non-users/
  • Reply 11 of 11
    A double edged blade here.

    Sure, privacy legislation that actually protects privacy would be good, but I suspect that will only be half of any legislation that is passed.  The other half will be "exceptions" for government and requirements that data be more easily accessible when the State is "legally" entitled to it, i.e. back doors.

    Be careful what you ask for.
    SpamSandwich
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