Tim Cook ‘heartbroken’ over the death of European privacy regulator

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Giovanni Buttarelli
Tim Cook with his friend Giovanni Buttarelli.
Photo: Tim Cook/Twitter

Tim Cook has tweeted his condolences following the death of EU data protection regulator Giovanni Buttarelli. Buttarelli passed away on August 20 at the age of 62.

In a recent tweet, Cook described himself as “heartbroken by the loss of my friend.” He credited Buttarelli with advancing “the cause of privacy in Europe and around the world.”

Giovanni Buttarelli was the European Data Protection Supervisor. This put him in charge of overseeing the privacy practices of EU institutions. He also helped to come up with broader guidelines which could be adopted by other regulators.

One of Buttarelli’s main contributions was the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act. This is a unifying regulation concerning data protection and privacy for individuals in the European Union and European Economic Area. It was introduced in May 2018, tightening up on Europe’s already strict data regulations.

Tim Cook has said that he it is “time for the rest of the world” to follow a similar framework which protects the personal information of users. “We are in support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the U.S.,” he told delegates at the European Parliament late last year. Privacy has become a main theme of Tim Cook’s tenure at Apple. Recently Apple debuted new privacy-focused billboards in Europe.

On Twitter, a member of Buttarelli’s family responded to Cook’s tweet. “Forever grateful for your words. I know how much he admired you,” wrote Serena Buttarelli.