Apple CEO Tim Cook on privacy: 'we have to admit when the free market is not working'

Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo: Getty Images
  • In an interview with Axios, Tim Cook said that regulation was “inevitable.”
  • On the issue of user privacy, Cook said, “we have to admit when the free market is not working. And it hasn’t worked here.”
  • Previously, Cook urged other tech companies to self-regulate, saying Facebook had failed in that regard.

Apple CEO Tim Cook says regulation is coming but plans to roll with the punches.

In an interview with Axios, previewed on their site early Sunday, Cook told Mike Allen that despite his general dislike of government regulation on business, “we have to admit when the free market is not working.” In regards to user privacy, Cook said, “it hasn’t worked here.”

Cook was blunt in warning “I think the Congress and the administration at some point will pass something.”

Previously, Cook has advocated for self-regulation, particularly around privacy issues. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Cook told Recode, “I think the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation, however, I think we’re beyond that here.”

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Recently, however, Cook has begun to discuss government regulation as an important aspect of the recent cultural discussion happening around user privacy. In a Vice News interview, Cook said, “some level of government regulation is important.”

Cook told Axios that he welcomes coming regulation in the realm of privacy, arguing pitting privacy and profits or innovation against each other was “a false choice.”

Besides his recent promotion of some regulation, Cook has shown a willingness to work with government officials, having met with President Donald Trump multiple times in 2018.

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