Apple's Tim Cook calls upon US FTC to allow consumers to track and delete personal data

Cook believes "data brokers" should be monitored for malpractice

Tim Cook

Apple boss Tim Cook has requested that the US government introduce tools that will allow US citizens to track the data that's being collected about them online. He also thinks everyone should be able to delete that information if they wish.

Cook wrote an article for Time magazine that goes into detail about how he feels businesses should use the public's data and the rights each individual should have over it.

He slammed what he refers to as "data brokers", saying that companies collecting, storing and selling data about people should be careful with how they use data, because the information belongs to the person it relates to.

Cook argued that any collected data must be secured and the public should have ownership of the information, which means they can destroy it whenever they wish.

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"Consumers shouldn't have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives," he said.

"This problem is solvable it isn't too big, too challenging or too late."

Cook wants the US government to create a clear strategy that will deal with businesses that don't adhere to privacy standards. He wants anyone dealing in personal data to be monitored and held accountable for their actions. He has called for the introduction of a registration system so businesses dealing in data have to be tracked.

"We cannot lose sight of the most important constituency: individuals trying to win back their right to privacy," Cook said.

"Technology has the potential to keep changing the world for the better, but it will never achieve that potential without the full faith and confidence of the people who use it."

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