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In what may seem like a surprising statement from one of the world’s largest tech companies, Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has said that he believes tech industry regulation to be “inevitable” in an interview with Axios. His statement follows a trail of scandals from some of the world’s largest tech companies, including not only Apple but Facebook and Google as well.

“Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of regulation,” he said. “I’m a big believer in the free market. But we have to admit when the free market is not working. And it hasn’t worked here.

“I think it’s inevitable that there will be some level of regulation . . . I think Congress and the administration at some point will pass something.”

Such scandals include the likes of Apple’s tax breaks in Ireland, which has seen the EU force Ireland to reclaim €13 billion in taxes. Not only that, but Facebook has faced a litany of problems following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, along with a vulnerability which saw the company leak the private data of almost 50 million users. That’s without getting into Google’s ongoing battle with the EU, which has seen the Californian tech giant face billions of Euro in fines in the last few years, largely thanks to data privacy concerns and monopolisation.

While Cook’s statements largely apply to the US, we’ve seen the EU crack down on companies misusing private user data in the past couple of years, particularly with the introduction of the GDPR earlier this year. Apple has seen the least amount of scandals in recent years of the big trio, with Tim Cook back in March publicly stating that Apple has elected not to monetise their customers. It’s not unlikely that in the coming years we will see more aggressive regulation on some of the world’s largest companies, particularly in the US.

Via: The Irish Times

Post Author: Adam Conway

An Irish technology fanatic in his second year of a Computer Science degree. Lover of smartphones, cybersecurity and Counter Strike. You can contact me at adam.conway@irishtech.ie.