Apple CEO Tim Cook has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the 2018 International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners on Wednesday October 24.
Cook will deliver his keynote speech at “Debating Ethics: Dignity and Respect in Data Driven Life”, which will be a public conference session.
The organization said: “We are delighted that Tim has agreed to speak at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. Tim has been a strong voice in the debate around privacy, as the leader of a company which has taken a clear privacy position, we look forward to hearing his perspective. He joins an already superb line up of keynote speakers and panelists who want to be part of a discussion about technology serving humankind.”
Cook’s session is meant to start a global discussion on the “rights and wrongs in the development and use of digital technology”.
His appearance comes at an opportune time as US lawmakers are currently considering online data protection rules similar to the onerous General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was implemented throughout Europe earlier this year.
Apple is one of the major advocates for digital privacy and they are invested in protecting consumer data. Cook and other Apple executives speak most often on the importance of consumer data privacy.
In his recent interview with VICE News, Cook defended the principal of privacy and the need for protections. He said: “I see privacy as one of the most important issues of the 21st century. We’re at a stage now where more information is available about you online and on your phone than is in your house. Chances are, your phone knows what you’ve been browsing, knows your friends, knows your relationships, has all of your photos.
“I mean, just think about this and the magnitude of information. We take that seriously. I’m not a pro regulation kind of person, I believe in a free market deeply when the free market doesn’t produce a result that’s great for society, you have to ask yourself what do we need to do? And I think some level of government is important to come out of it at this time.”
Cook also explained that there’s a need to work with Congress to make sure that tech companies are doing their best to help regulators be briefed on what was possible in terms of data being collected and how it was to be used.
Apple Vice President of Software Technology Bud Tribble recently appeared before a Senate Commerce Committee to offer support for federal privacy regulations where he explained Apple’s approach to privacy and the company’s effort to minimize the amount of data collected.
He said: “To Apple, privacy means much more than having the right not to share your personal information. Privacy is about putting the user in control when it comes that information. That means that users can decide whether to share personal information and with whom.
“It means that they understand how that information will be used. Ultimately, privacy is about living in a world where you can trust that your decisions about how your personal information is shared and used are being respected. We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right, which should be supported by both social norms and the law.”
Other attendees at the “Debating Ethics” panel include the inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, philosopher Anita Allen, former chief justice of India Jagdish Singh, HKUST AI research director Pascale Fung and computer philosophy writer Jaron Lanier.