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Tim Cook will deliver keynote at European Union's privacy conference

Apple CEO Tim Cook will be speaking at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners on October 24, delivering the keynote during the public 'Debating Ethics' session at the European conference.




Announced by the European Data Protection Supervisor, Cook will be speaking in the "Debating Ethics: Dignity and Respect in Data Driven Life" session, which will attempt to start a conversation on the "right and wrong" in the development and use of technology today.

"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," states EDPS Giovanni Buttareli. "He joins an already superb line up of keynote speakers and panelists who want to be a part of a discussion about technology serving humankind."

Other contributors to the conference include web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, philosopher Anita Allen, Pascale Fung, EU Commissioners for Justice and Competition, Presidents of the European Court of Justice and Human Rights, and data protection commissioners from around the world. Up to a thousand participants are expected to attend the conference, including representatives from industry, civil society, academia, and government.

Occurring from October 24 to October 25, the conference will be held in the Hemicycle of the European Parliament, in Brussels, Belgium. Running since 1979, the conference aims for regulators on privacy, data protection, and freedom of information to discuss issues and provide recommendations to governments and international organizations.

Cook's selection as keynote speaker is apt, considering both his and Apple's policies relating to consumer privacy and security. In interviews, Cook has repeatedly spelled out Apple's position that the company minimizes any collection of identifiable data, often proclaiming "You are not our product" in comparing Apple to how other tech giants treat user data.

On September 26, Apple VP of software technology Guy "Bud" Tribble informed a Senate Committee Apple was in favor of privacy legislation, conveying "Apple's support for comprehensive federal privacy legislation that reflects Apple's longheld view that privacy is a fundamental human right."

"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," noted Tribble, continuing "We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right, which should be supported by both social norms and the law."