The New York Times got out with an investigation regarding Facebook's tracking practices
the other day, and it marked most Silicon Valley juggernauts as partners in its privacy crimes. "Facebook has reached data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers — including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung — over the last decade
," claimed the publication.
We are learning a lot about dubious data-sharing practices by Facebook and others, which were going on since its inception (what do you think Farmville did with your data?), but are just now receiving attention, thanks to the Russian collusion investigation that made lawmakers use phrases like "third-party app plugins" in a conversation, for the amusement of most techies that have been knowing this all along.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook, however, sat for an interview after the WWDC keynote yesterday, and crushed the myth for its own purported collusion with Facebook in a single sentence:
The things mentioned in the Times article about relationship statuses and all these kinds of stuff, this is so foreign to us, and not data that we have ever received at all or requested — zero.
That's not the first time Apple's CEO comments
on Facebook's dubious data-sharing decisions, too. Asked what he would do if he was Mark Zuckerberg, he quickly replied: "I wouldn’t be in this situation,
" forcing Facebook's CEO to call this comment
." Seeing the rest that Tim Cook had to say, one would think that "don't be evil
" is Apple's motto now, instead of Google's initial slogan.
What we did was we integrated the ability to share in the operating system, make it simple to share a photo and that sort of thing. So it's a convenience for the user. We weren't in the data business. We've never been in the data business.
Given Apple's $200+ billion war chest, it doesn't really need to scrape by by mining and reselling its user's personal data for any purposes, and that's the beauty of being the most successful hardware company ever. "We have never been about maximizing the number of times you pick [the device] up, the number of hours that you use it," added Tim Cook, in stark contrast to what most everybody else scrambles to do in a Silicon Valley that is all about software margins.