In an article in Time magazine, Cook said it was time to stand up for the right to privacy. He wrote: "Consumers shouldn’t have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives."
Cook went on to criticise the data broking industry by slamming the "secondary markets for your information" that "exist in a shadow economy that’s largely unchecked – out of sight of consumers, regulators and lawmakers".
To tackle this, Cook wants companies which deal in personal data to be monitored and held accountable for their actions. He has called for the introduction of a registration system so businesses dealing in data have to be tracked.
In response, Acxiom has given its backing to Cook. The company said: "We agree that we must root out the nefarious players in the ecosystem, and Acxiom's data privacy impact assessment process ensures we don't do business with questionable companies. We look forward to working with people across the industry, including Apple, to ensure transparency, access and control is available to all people."
A recent survey carried out by SAS showed that two-thirds (67%) of Americans think the US government should do more to protect data privacy.