On Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook came out again to express his disgust over the continued collection of user data by tech companies such as Facebook and Google.
“The narrative that some companies will try to get you to believe is: ‘I’ve got to take all of your data to make my service better. Well, don’t believe them.”
“It’s a bunch of bunk,” he said during an interview with HBO’s Vice News Tonight.
While he did not specifically call out Facebook during the interview, it was clear that he was referring to these companies, according to the New York Post.
The war of words between Cook and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg started earlier this year. At the end of March during an MSNBC town hall event, Cook ridiculed Facebook for violating user privacy by selling data to third parties.
Zuckerberg followed up a week later in an interview with Vox, during which he explained that Facebook’s advertising-profit model allowed it to provide a service to people who could not afford to pay for it and suggested Apple was only serving rich people with its pricey technology.
Last weekend, Facebook announced its largest breach yet in its online newsroom, which allowed hackers full access to at least 50 million user profiles and potentially affected another 40 million.
“On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 25, our engineering team discovered a security issue affecting almost 50 million accounts,” Facebook said in a statement. “We’re taking this incredibly seriously and wanted to let everyone know what’s happened and the immediate action we’ve taken to protect people’s security.”
While the social media giant said it took steps to ensure negative effects were limited, Cook explained that Apple has made a point not to view its customers as products, and it challenges itself to collect as little data as possible from users.
“We’re at a stage now where more information is available about you online and on your phone, than there is in your house,” Cook said.
“Chances are, your phone knows what you’ve been browsing, knows your friends, knows your relationships, has all your photos,” he continued.
Cook called privacy “one of the most important issues of the 21st century” and said Apple would never be caught in a similar data-hacking situation.
While the company could make a lot of money by treating its customers as products, it has decided not to do that, Cook explained.
“I’m not a pro-regulation kind of person. I believe in the free market … When the free market doesn’t produce a result that’s great for society, you have to ask yourself, ‘What do we need to do?'”
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