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Apple drops out of State Privacy Security Coalition over concerns

Craig Federighi Wwdc 2020 Privacy
Craig Federighi Wwdc 2020 Privacy (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple is leaving the State Privacy and Security Coalition.
  • It's over concerns that SPSC-backed legislation won't do enough to protect user data.
  • The SPSC has been accused of pushing for weak privacy laws that could favor companies over users.

Apple is leaving the State Privacy and Security Coalition over concerns legislation backed by the group will not do enough to protect users' privacy.

First reported by Politico's Emily Birnbaum, Apple has confirmed to iMore that the company is withdrawing from the SPSC.

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According to Birnbaum, "a source familiar" with the move stated Apple was departing "over concerns that legislation the SPSC is pushing would not adequately protect user data."

While the SPSC said it wouldn't comment on individual membership changes, the report notes that privacy advocates have previously raised concerns that the group "is pushing for weak privacy laws in the states," and may have been involved in helping pass a recent new law in Utah described as a "tech-friendly privacy bill" that exempts some financial institutions and nonprofits, and gives companies a month to fix privacy violations before they can get in trouble.

The report says the SPSC is pushing for "similar bills across multiple states" including Iowa, where a bill has been watered down to remove consumers' ability to opt into or correct the processing of personal data.

Consumer Reports' Justin Brookman praised Apple to the outlet for refusing to "hide behind the coalition", and said Apple's departure was "a brave and welcome move."

Apple has always positioned itself as a staunch advocate of privacy for customers of all its devices and services, with privacy a headline at most product launches. Famously, last year Apple made third-party tracking across different apps and services using an IDFA identifier an opt-in feature on iOS 14 and iOS 15, a move that has seriously irked Facebook and caused significant headwinds for advertisers.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.