Apple's Tim Cook: Regulating tech is ‘fair’ because ‘the privacy thing has gotten totally out of control’

  • Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook said issues around privacy have "gotten totally out of control."
  • Cook said he is against regulation but that talk of regulating tech companies was "fair."
  • Cook's comments arrive at a time when Facebook has come under fire over how it handles its users' data.
Sad Tim Cook
Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty

Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook said Monday that talk of regulating technology companies is "fair" — even though he disagrees with it — because issues around privacy have "gotten totally out of control."

"Generally, for me, I'm not a big fan of regulation, I think self-regulation is the best," Cook said in a CNN interview. "But when it's not working, and in some cases it's not working, you have to ask yourself what form of regulation might be good. And I think it's a fair question many people are asking at this point."

He added: "I think the privacy thing has gotten totally out of control and I think most people are not aware of who is tracking them, how much they're being tracked and sort of the large amounts of detailed data that are out there about them."

Cook's comments arrive at a time when Facebook has come under fire over how it handles its users' data. The social network revealed in April that the data of 87 million users may have been shared improperly with controversial political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have called for answers from Facebook about the scandal, and some have called for more regulation of the tech industry to prevent such incidents in the future.

Apple has been unveiling new products and features at its latest annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week. The company shared details about iOS 12, the newest version of its operating system, at WWDC on Monday. Apple's market capitalization soared past $940 billion that day, a record high — many investors anticipate that the firm could hit $1 trillion in market cap soon.

You can watch Cook's interview with CNN here.