IBM CEO Ginni Rometty calls consumer tech companies 'irresponsible,' says they should be liable for misinformation

  • At an event in Brussels Monday, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said consumer-facing tech companies need to be regulated.
  • Without naming names, Rometty said tech companies that serve as platforms need to be held accountable for the information they distribute.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook called for tech regulation in a speech in Brussels last month.
Virginia Rometty
Jodi Gralnick | CNBC
Virginia Rometty

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is calling for regulation of tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon, according to prepared remarks she delivered at an event in Brussels Monday at an event for the EU Commission.

Rometty's speech follows Apple CEO Tim Cook's lead in demanding regulation of their tech peers. Last month, Cook delivered a keynote speech at a privacy conference in Brussels, saying, "We at Apple are in full support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States."

Rometty's call focuses on consumer-facing companies in particular. IBM, by contrast, mainly serves other businesses.

"In regulating tech, government needs to focus on fixing the real problem," Rometty said in her prepared remarks. "And that is the irresponsible handling of personal data by a few dominant consumer-facing platform companies. Addressing the weakest link – should not define the digital economy."

Without naming names, Rometty took aim at companies that provide platforms for public opinion, saying they need to be held accountable for the information they distribute.

"On liability, new thinking is needed," Rometty said in her remarks. "Collectively, dominant online platforms have more power to shape public opinion than newspapers or the television ever had, yet they face very little regulation or liability."

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.