The letter was obtained by MacRumors and appears to be in response to the draft "American Data Privacy and Protection Act".
Generally, Apple has been a strong supporter of user privacy; however, it has come under criticism lately following an attempt to build a backdoor into its photos and messaging system. After the controversy, a survey found that Amazon and Google were more trusted brands than Apple. Competitors have also spoken out against the company's alleged use of user data to benefit its own apps while preventing rivals from having access to the same data.
You can read Cook's full letter below...
Dear Chairs Cantwell and Pallone and Ranking Members Wicker and McMorris Rodgers:
Thank you for your ongoing work on privacy legislation. Apple continues to support efforts at the federal level to establish strong privacy protections for consumers, and we are encouraged by the draft proposals your offices have produced.
We recognize that there are outstanding issues to be resolved, but the areas of agreement appear to far outweigh the differences. Your drafts would provide substantial protections for consumers, and we write to offer our strong support towards achieving this shared goal. With your work, coupled with President Biden’s call to better protect children’s privacy, it appears Americans are closer than ever to obtaining meaningful privacy protections.
At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right. It is why we have consistently advocated for comprehensive privacy legislation and contributed to the process whenever possible. It is also why we’ve always built products and features that protect users and their information by default. We do this by minimizing the data we collect, processing as much data as possible on a user’s device, giving users transparency as to what data is collected and control as to how it is used, and building robust systems to protect user data across all our products and services.
While Apple will continue to innovate and develop new ways to protect user data, only Congress can provide strong privacy protections for all Americans. The continued absence of this important legislation will unfortunately perpetuate a patchwork approach to privacy rights that leaves too many without the rigorous standards we hope to see as a result of your hard work.
We strongly urge you to advance comprehensive privacy legislation as soon as possible, and we stand ready to assist in this process in the days ahead.
Tim Cook CEO, Apple