Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Google and Apple Say They Would Not Help Build a Muslim Registry

Nitasha Tiku, Buzzfeed:

In response to questions from BuzzFeed News, Google, Apple, and Uber clarified their position on President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim registry. “In relation to the hypothetical of whether we would ever help build a ‘muslim registry’ – we haven’t been asked, of course we wouldn’t do this and we are glad – from all that we’ve read – that the proposal doesn’t seem to be on the table,” a spokesperson for Google told BuzzFeed News in an email.

BuzzFeed News asked whether they would help build or provide data for a Muslim registry. An Apple spokesperson said: “We think people should be treated the same no matter how they worship, what they look like, who they love. We haven’t been asked and we would oppose such an effort.”

While it’s admirable that both of these companies would object to helping create such a registry — one of Donald Trump’s campaign promises — the bulk collection of user data is, in effect, creating that registry for them. Between the two, only Apple has demonstrated that they oppose the collection and utilization of user data. I think it’s great that tech companies are taking a stance on this issue, but they ought to act on it as well by reducing user data collection and enabling strong encryption on any data they possess.