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Image credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Tim Cook calls for a regulatory body to oversee data brokers

The organization will require all data brokers and aggregators to register.
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Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Apple chief Tim Cook has always been a vocal champion of privacy, even going so far as to publicly criticize other tech giants' data practices. Back in 2018, he called for GDPR-like laws in the US -- now he's calling for a regulatory body to oversee the business of selling data in an OP-ED piece for Time.

The CEO said he believes the Federal Trade Commission should establish a data-broker clearinghouse, which will require all data brokers in the country to register. After a company sells your information to these data brokers, after all, you'll have no control over what happens to it. "The trail disappears before you even know there is a trail," Cook wrote. A recent Motherboard report even discovered that it's very easy to find anybody's real-time location, since carriers sell tracking information to third-party aggregators. By requiring brokers to register, you'll be able to track your data if it's sold from one company to another. Cook said the clearinghouse should also enable you to delete information easily and online if you want.

In his piece, Cook has also discussed the four principles he believes should guide GDPR-like legislation in the US. First, he said you should have the right to have personal data minimized. He said companies should strip identifying information from your data and that they should avoid collecting it entirely. You should also have the right to know what data is being collected and why. Companies should make it easy for you to access, amend and delete your personal information. Finally, you should have the right to data security, "without which trust is impossible."

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