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Cook criticises data surveillance
28 Feb 2015 15:03
The head of technology giant Apple has said privacy is a "basic human right" and no government or private company should be able to access personal information.
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Tim Cook, CEO of the US firm, also said invading people's privacy would not solve the issue of terrorism and would punish the "99.999% of people who are good".
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His comments come amid a debate in the UK over whether security agencies should be given access to people's personal data, such as emails, to help detect potentially-violent extremists.
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But Mr Cook told the Daily Telegraph: "None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information.
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"This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn't give in to scaremongering or to people who fundamentally don't understand the details.
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"History has taught us that privacy breaches have resulted in very dire consequences. You don't have to look back too far or be a historian to see these things. They are readily apparent.
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"You don't want to eliminate everyone's privacy. If you do, you not only don't solve the terrorist issue but you also take away something that is a human right. The consequences of doing that are very significant."
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Mr Cook added that those plotting acts of terrorism could disguise their data through encryption and making firms such as Apple make information available to authorities would only impact law-abiding people.
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