He's mostly right
Notwithstanding our inalienable right to snark at whiffs of hypocrisy and self-interest, I submit (again) that Cook's central proposition is correct: democratic governments must act to prevent companies holding any data on people that is not of genuine, hard, operational use. This "profiling" nonsense has got to stop. It is proving to be extremely damaging in a raft of ways that, in one respect, were unpredictable and yet seem chillingly obvious to anyone who's read Nineteen Eighty-Four.
It's not just about invasions of privacy. It's not just about the how the culpable stupidity of the "free" model has led to human beings themselves becoming product. It's not only about the woeful uselessness of supposedly targeted advertising, which attracts billions while simply not working. More than any of those pernicious things, it is about the internet as an echoing cave for people's darker, nastier, more vicious, less tolerant aspects—in fact, let's say just say medieval vices—where anonymity, malice and ignorance confect a perfect storm of absolutist, partisan, screaming hatred. This isn't just ugly: it is existentially dangerous.
In the 500 years or so since Enlightenment and the rise of science, fact and reason have gradually nudged out superstition and ignorance, and people—especially those of us privileged to grow up in western, industrialised democracies—have learned to be infinitely more social, cooperative, inclusive and discursive in their approach to each other in groups both large and small, whether majority or minority. We have become, by and large, more civilised, wrapping essential layers of cooperative, tolerant sociability around our evolutionary heritage as rapacious, vicious animals.
When your means of political expression was a signed letter to the newspaper, printed only if you hewed to a degree of fact, logic and arguable opinion, you made your case as well as you could and for the most part without pointless abuse or childish lies. We had moved past the days when grubby boys, paid a ha'penny by this or that aggrieved party, scattered vicious libels on the streets of London.
The internet has allowed us to revert. The damage is all around, for all to see. Anonymous cowards—those who would otherwise be obliged to conceal their essentially malicious, hateful nature—can fabricate the most outrageous nonsense for the blinkered and ignorantly partisan to repeat to each other. Before you know it there are apparently sane human beings telling you that of course there's no smoke without fire, so there must be something to the story about Democrats running a paedophile ring from the basement of a pizza shop ...
Better education and awareness will help, but cunning vermin will find a way to pollute the debate: just look at what Vlad The Emailer has been up to.
The only answer is to put the net onto a properly paid-for-service footing: exorcise anonymity, ban the retention of non-op data and bring the web back from the brink of medieval barbarism. We have to do this or we're in bigger trouble than we can imagine: Trump and Brexit are just the warm up.