Tim Cook addresses potential trade war, Facebook’s Cambridge Analytics debacle

Speaking at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing, Apple CEO Tim Cook called for “calm heads” and more open trade, amid rising fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China, reports Reuters.

  Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the China Development Forum in Beijing, China March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the China Development Forum in Beijing, China March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

In February, Apple moved iCloud accounts registered in mainland China to state-run Chinese servers along with the digital keys needed to unlock them. This has privacy advocates and human rights groups worried, and the tech giant has received intense criticism from rights groups who say the decision makes it easier for Chinese officials to tap and collect private data.

"The changes being made to iCloud are the latest indication that China's repressive legal environment is making it difficult for Apple to uphold its commitments to user privacy and security," Amnesty International warned in a statement.

“My belief is that businesses should be engaged with governments in countries where they are doing business, whether they agree or disagree,” Cook said.

At the China Development Forum, Cook also addressed Facebook’s misuse of customer data in the Cambridge Analytics debacle. He called for “well-crafted” regulations that prevent the information of users being put together and applied in new ways without their knowledge.