Tim Cook on Facebook's privacy mishaps: 'We'd never make our customers the product'

Tim Cook on Facebook's privacy mishaps: 'We'd never make our customers the product'
Facebook's privacy and security habits - you know, the same ones that have been going on ever since FarmVille was popular - is suddenly the focus of attention for everyone, including Apple's CEO Tim Cook. He recently sat down for an interview, and, when asked what he would do if he was Mark Zuckerberg now, quickly replied: "I wouldn’t be in this situation." Pressed again, he clarified the point further: "We could make a ton of money if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that."

After all, the whole privacy kerfuffle started only after it became clear that Facebook might have been used to steer public opinion in President Trump's favor by the red menace. No, not the Huawei P20 Pro, but those big bad Russians, who might have been less than enthusiastic about America's electoral process, and might have tried to influence it in order to land with friendlier candidate - you know, the way they, and other external players, have been doing the previous election... and the one before that.

The fact that this time around, Facebook and other social networks might have been used to disseminate and reinforce opinions, was met with a gasp of righteous indignation, but, after all, that's precisely the way social networks were supposed to work out of the box. Facebook filing for an IPO, with all the shareholder pressure and potential for CEO enrichment that entails, was the beginning of the end for every hope that it won't try to wheel and deal and monetize user data for ad revenue. 

Apple has the luxury to actually create sought-after items, and doesn't need to survive on trading user data, but Facebook and Google don't have that option, so getting something for nothing was bound to end up in a "you are the product" kind of arrangement. The point that Tim Cook made, however, is that Apple has deliberately chosen to be the company it is, so Facebook and the others only have themselves to blame, and, surprise, surprise, Apple's CEO is now convinced that some kind of social network regulations are needed, and may be an inevitable outcome of the whole Facebook privacy fiasco.

source: Variety



1. cmdacos

Posts: 4260; Member since: Nov 01, 2016


3. sgodsell

Posts: 7433; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You just have to buy almost anything from Apple. What kind of crap is Tim blowing up his nose.

10. Cat97

Posts: 1923; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Yes, but you can cleanly opt out if you want. From Facebook, you cannot. Your data is already sold to thousands of companies.

21. yann

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

How do you know, that Apple didn't sold your data? How do you know that Google didn't? You can't! And they will never admit that. But they all do it.

28. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

There have been plenty of stories about using an iphone gets you different pricing. That's because they already have a lot of data on iphone users. You can't opt out of using safari for everything, so your privacy gets betrayed in that way too. It's a silly statement meant to cover something else. Apple sure as hell isn't free (as in beer), so why make the comparison?

2. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2432; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

You gotta hand it to the guy, he knows how to spin a story to his benefit. Even though the entire world knows Apple exists to make a profit off consumers, he’s using this bad story surrounding Facebook and Google to tout how they have the consumers best interest at heart. I mean honestly even the most ardent Android supporter has got to hand it to this guy for being smart when it comes to controlling the story.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7433; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

No you got that wrong. Tim just proved that he is an idiot. Apple just controls it's OS by slowing things down. For that matter Apple controls every app, and piece of software on their store. Apple the communist platform. We will reject your app if it doesn't have support for the iPhone X notch. Oh yeah, Apple is so innocent in all this that it's zealots will try to point at other companies to deflect the stink coming from Apple.

6. kiko007

Posts: 7500; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Why do you intentionally veer off course with every post you reply to someone with?

9. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2432; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I see your point about slowing down the OS, but again you don’t see any Android manufacturer CEO going out and capitalizing off of that in the media. So, I don’t know how Tim Cook is the idiot for other CEOs not using the media to their advantage? Also, how is making sure all your apps work for your products a bad thing? Didn’t the latest Android P update bring notch support too? Also, Android forces manufacturers to create phones that have certain aspect ratios too, but you don’t see anyone calling Google communist for that choice.

14. handsomparis

Posts: 126; Member since: Jun 11, 2015

Valid point it amaze me how he even had the guts to talk anything about Facebook and any other company when they was just in the headlines about they battery throttling issue

13. DolmioMan

Posts: 334; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

He never denied trying to make a profit, they offer services and products as their main revenue stream, Facebook is free so their revenue stream is your data and advertising space.

17. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

How did he spin the story? Google and Facebook sell your data. Apple doesn't. If the story was spun, unspin it for us.

19. Cyberchum

Posts: 1093; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Sorry, but you must be a cretin to think that Apple don't creep into your privacy and/or use your your personal data in some way for profit making.

22. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Google doesn't sell your data, that would be destroying their own business. And as long as privacy sells, Apple won't sell your data either.


Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 25, 2015

You are right they don’t sell they give it up for free

33. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Google doesn't sell your data nor give it up for free. Giving away user data would kill their own core business, ads. Unless you were talking about Apple who wouldn't do that either since they would lose customers

24. Subie

Posts: 2384; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

This "story" was not about Apple, that's why. He spun the story in Apples direction. This "story" is was bad publicity for Facebook and was not about Apple, but he's spinning it into good publicity for Apple. What once was a story pointing outs Facebooks weaknesses is now being "spun" to point to Apple's strengths. It was drawing attention in one direction and now it's being spun to draw attention to something else. That's a long winded explanation, I know. But Dr.Phil's assessment is correct.

25. Venom

Posts: 3696; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I agree. He's not Steve Jobs when it comes to technical ingenuity, but he is very smart as a business man. He knows what he is doing business wise.

7. antroid

Posts: 392; Member since: Jan 24, 2018

Today it was Facebook, tommorow it will be Apple turn to fall

23. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Don't say nonsense like this. Apple won't fall nor would they make the mistake to actually sell your data. As long as privacy sells devices, they won't sell your data to third parties. They are not that dumb

27. cmdacos

Posts: 4260; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Privacy sells devices now??

29. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

How many people think Apples privacy stance is a reason to choose for Apple devices?

35. cmdacos

Posts: 4260; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Most people don't care or don't know so I would say a very small number.

37. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yet you read them all the time on websites and I know a few in personal life that say its one of the reasons they bought an iPhone. Pretty sure it's a big deal, otherwise Tim Cook wouldn't hammer on it every chance he got.

8. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3148; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The larger they come, the harder they fall...one and all. Eddy Grant

12. PhoenixFirebird

Posts: 125; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

Why hate Russia -,-

15. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

And he is just so honest to his customers.

18. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Didnt't Apple have that whole ICloud security mess? Then the Price fixing Mess, Then the whole battery slowing mess? Just like Samsung had that whole battery mess, Then the whole Country bribing mess, Didn't LG have that whole Boot loop mess even Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Motorola, Nokia, Blackberry etc.. had there mess. The truth is that all these companies have been embroiled in issues that have directly harmed their user base and for Tim Cook to say Apple would never do such a thing is hypocritical at best because all of them only care about one thing and that is $$$$. so, are we all just gonna trust everything( without question) that any of these CEO say? I do agree that he has taken advantage of the situation but what do we expect him to say ( hey we at Apple are also guilty of some things that hurt our users)? He has to report to a board that reports to share holders.

31. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015


34. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Deflection deflection deflection

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