Apple's CEO Had Very Harsh Words for Mark Zuckerberg

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Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t hold back Wednesday when speaking about the recent controversy over Facebook’s data privacy practices.

Cook was asked about the scandal surrounding the social media giant’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica, a research firm with ties to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign that allegedly accessed about 50 million Facebook users’ information without their knowledge.

Specifically, Cook answered a question regarding what he would do if he were in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s shoes.

“What would I do (if I were Zuckerberg)? I wouldn’t be in this situation,” Cook told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Recode’s Kara Swisher for an interview that will air in full April 6.

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Cook went on to suggest that while Facebook has allowed its users’ data to be harvested for a profit, Apple has instead chosen to focus on its customers and respect their right to privacy.

“The truth is we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer, if our customer was our product,” Cook said. “We’ve elected not to do that.”

“We care about the user experience. And we’re not going to traffic in your personal life. I think it’s an invasion of privacy,” he added, according to The Hill. “Privacy to us is a human right. It’s a civil liberty, and something that is unique to America.”

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The Apple CEO went even further, explaining that the right to privacy is comparable to the liberties guaranteed under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“This is like freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” Cook said. “Privacy is right up there with that for us.”

Apple is known for holding customer privacy in the highest regard. Even following the 2015 shooting in San Bernadino, California, the tech company would not aid the FBI in its efforts to unlock an iPhone that belonged to the shooter.

“If that same circumstance arose again, we would fight, because this, again, is a value of America,” Cook said Wednesday. “You should not be able to compel somebody to write something that is bad for civilization.”

And though Apple is a big fan of freedom and privacy, Cook said that he does think Facebook needs to be regulated by the government.

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“I think the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation. However, I think we’re beyond that here,” he said.

Though it’s not clear what, if any, legislative changes will come to pass following Facebook’s data controversy, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have demanded answers from Zuckerberg.

And on Tuesday, multiple outlets reported that Zuckerberg would indeed testify before Congress, though specific details regarding which committees will get to question him have not yet been revealed.

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Joe Setyon is a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who has spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon is deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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