Saturday 18th August 2018

Apple CEO Tim Cook criticizes Facebook and outlines steps users can take to protect privacy

Jason Smith
by on 28th March 2018

In an interview with Recode and MSNBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook has criticized Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal and has outlined a variety of steps users can take to protect their online privacy.

Criticism from Apple in relation to the data collection efforts of organizations like Facebook aren’t particularly rare: Steve Jobs contrasted Google’s and Apple’s approach to privacy in 2010 and Cook criticized the personal data for free services business model publicly in 2015.

Back in 2015 Cook stated “You might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for god knows what advertising purpose.”

In today’s interview, Tim Cook appears to be doubling down. Asked in the interview what he would do if he were Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s CEO responded: “I wouldn’t be in this situation”.

While, according to a transcript of the interview published on Recode, Cook proclaimed that the best form of regulation is self-regulation or no regulation, he also stated “I think we’re beyond that here”.

Of particular interest are Cook’s comments on the nature of Facebook’s business model.

“We’ve never believed that these detailed profiles of people, that have incredibly deep personal information that is patched together from several sources, should exist,” he said.

According to an excerpt of the interview published by Recode on Twitter, Cook stated that users should enable private browsing and “understand the privacy policy of every app and every website [they] frequent” to protect their privacy online.

While Google’s and Facebook’s business models primarily rely on advertising, Apple’s revenue is primarily generated from hardware sales.

The manufacturer of the iPhone caused something of a storm earlier this year when it announced intelligent tracking prevention as part of an operating system update last year.

The new feature was aimed at preventing websites from dropping third-party cookies which aided advertisers in tracking users between websites.

In today’s interview, Tim Cook referred to such a process as “creepy” and stated Apple sees privacy as a “human right” and a “civil liberty”.