Senator asks Apple CEO to give customers 'do not track' option

Think of it as the "do not call" list, but for privacy.

Following Monday's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at Apple, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is asking its CEO Tim Cook to develop an option for customers to turn off the phone's data-tracking capabilities.

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Recently marketing itself as the leader in digital privacy, Apple announced its new mobile operating system will give users the ability to use an Apple login that would prevent apps from accessing personal information. The program would generate automated and randomized emails provided by Apple instead of the user having to provide their own, according to the company's WWDC presentation.

In a letter to Cook, Sen. Hawley notes the company's progress in data privacy, "but you can still do better."

Referencing recent reports the tech giant's app store doesn't stop developers from hiding software meant to track user data - the Senator writes he has a simple solution: a "do not track button."

"If your company is serious about protecting privacy, you should give your customers the power to block all companies from collecting or sharing any data that is not indispensable to the companies’ online services.”

- Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook

Hawley hopes the company will be proactive and use his template for privacy in his recently-introduced Do Not Track Act.

"My bill takes a giant leap toward ending the greedy data-grabbing practices of bad-actor companies. But this effort should not be led by Congress alone," he writes.


"You have it in your power to make good on your promise to be an industry leader."

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Hawley's push comes one day after reports surfaced that the FTC and DOJ were preparing wide antitrust probes for Apple and other tech giants including Amazon, Google and Facebook.

In response to those reports, Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the company, telling CBS, "With size, I think scrutiny is fair. I think we should be scrutinized," he said. But, he added, "I don't think anybody reasonable is gonna come to the conclusion that Apple's a monopoly" he said.