Apple boss Tim Cook has joined calls from some of the technology industry’s most powerful executives for Facebook to be slapped with tighter regulations, according to Reuters.
Last week, it emerged that British market research firm Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal information of more than 50 million users to influence major political campaigns.
It is believed that the London-based firm used this information to sway the 2016 US presidential election and the 2016 Brexit referendum, both of which produced unpredicted results.
Over the weekend, Tim Cook joined executives from American technology giants such as IBM and Google at the China Development Forum.
Speaking in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Cook said that governments should create “well-crafted” regulation to keep Facebook in check.
Cook, who co-chaired the Chinese business event, was cited by Reuters as saying: “It’s clear to me that something, some large profound change is needed,”
“I’m personally not a big fan of regulation because sometimes regulation can have unexpected consequences to it, however I think this certain situation is so dire, and has become so large, that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary.”
Meanwhile, IBM chief Ginni Rometty said that Facebook users should be given more control over their data. “If you’re going to use these technologies, you have to tell people you’re doing that, and they should never be surprised,” she said.
Within the past few days, Facebook has faced growing pressure from users, lawmakers, privacy campaigners and investors to explain how it let Cambridge Analytica gain unauthorised access to personal data.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has since issued an apology over the scandal. He told CNN. “We have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data, and if we can’t do that, we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people.”
“I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated. There are things like ad transparency regulation that I would love to see.”