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Apple’s Tim Cook: ‘Privacy has gotten totally out of control’

Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has no intentions of becoming the President for America although he wants to make the United States a better place.

“I’m not political,” he said. “I’m not sure I would really do well in that environment. I think that I can make the greatest contribution doing what I’m doing.”

However, Cook doesn’t see politics in his own future but believes that talk of regulating technology companies is “fair” — even though he disagrees with it — because issues around privacy have “gotten totally out of control.”

Speaking in an interview with CNN, Mr Cook said “Generally, for me, I’m not a big fan of regulation, I think self-regulation is the best.” “But when it’s not working, and in some cases it’s not working, you have to ask yourself what form of regulation might be good. And I think it’s a fair question many people are asking at this point.”

“I think the privacy thing has gotten totally out of control and I think most people are not aware of who is tracking them, how much they’re being tracked and sort of the large amounts of detailed data that are out there about them,” he added.

He also reacted to his tech habits adding that “I use my phone too much” and that it’s time he had a wake-up call about his own tech habits after seeing data from a newly unveiled Apple (AAPL) tool that will provide detailed reports of how much time users spend on the iPhone and iPad.

The feature, called Screen Time, shows users their daily and weekly time spent in each app and also lets them set time limits for specific apps. Users will also be able to see how many notifications they received and how often they picked up the device.

“I’ve been using it and I have to tell you: I thought I was fairly disciplined about this. And I was wrong,” Cook told Segall after Apple’s annual developer conference Monday.

Tim Cook has used his position as one of the highest profile CEOs in the world to advocate around big issues like equal rights, climate change and immigration reform and his comments about “privacy” arrive at a time when Facebook has come under fire over how it handles its users’ data.

Facebook revealed in April that the data of 87 million users may have been shared improperly with controversial political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica adding that one of the companies named as an alleged recipient of this information was Apple but CEO Cook has now refuted these claims.

Cook directly addressed the report, which he said “is so foreign” to Apple, as it had never received nor requested data from Facebook in an interview with NPR.

The original report claims that Facebook struck partnerships with device makers so that they could “recreate a Facebook-like experience” with features such as messaging and “like” buttons without the need for an app. But, it claimed, in facilitating this these third parties could also access other information on users, such as events they planned to attend, and religious and political beliefs.

According to Cook, Apple’s partnership with Facebook simply allowed users to share to the platform directly from their device’s operating system. “What we did was we integrated the ability to share in the operating system, make it simple to share a photo and that sort of thing,” he said in the NPR interview. “So it’s a convenience for the user. We weren’t in the data business. We’ve never been in the data business.”

Meanwhile, Apple has been unveiling new products and features at its latest annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week. The company shared details about iOS 12, the newest version of its operating system, at WWDC on Monday.

Apple’s market capitalization soared past $940 billion that day, a record high — many investors anticipate that the firm could hit $1 trillion in market cap soon.


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