Tech Advocacy Group That Includes Apple Meeting This Wednesday to Discuss Online Privacy

Members of the Information Technology Industry Council plan to meet this Wednesday, June 27 in San Francisco to discuss “how to tackle growing questions and concerns about consumer privacy online.”

The news comes from Axios, and members of ITI in attendance will reportedly include Apple, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, Dropbox, and more — although specific attendees have not been confirmed by the organization.

ITI has organized all-day meetings that will focus on topics about online privacy in the wake of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

ITI CEO Dean Garfield told Axios that tech companies are aware there’s a “new sense of urgency around consumer privacy.” The organization also said that the new meet-up of tech leaders is “not a direct result” of alleged conversations brewing within the Trump administration about a U.S. “counter-weight” to Europe’s GDPR.

“Just because Europe has taken a comprehensive approach doesn’t mean our different approach is deficient,” Garfield said. “And just because Europe is early doesn’t mean it’s best or final. But we should always be thinking about how we evolve to make sure consumers have trust in our products.”

In that report last week, Trump advisor Gail Slater was said to have discussed a U.S. version of GDPR with Garfield, although Slater stated the White House has no desire to create a “U.S. clone” of Europe’s rules. Slater claimed that “giving consumers more control over their data” and “more access to their data” are high marks of the GDPR, suggesting these aspects would be emphasized in the U.S. law if it ever comes to pass.

While lawmakers and advocacy groups discuss online customer privacy, individual companies have promised some form of enhanced user privacy on a global scale in the wake of GDPR. For Apple, the company launched a new Data & Privacy website that lets users download all of the data associated with their Apple ID. Prior to GDPR, last September Apple revamped its privacy website so that its various policies could be more accessible and easy-to-read for its customers.

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