Tim Cook calls Facebook's business model violent and says that it leads to divisiveness
Earlier this morning, we told you that Facebook was reportedly planning to attack Apple-in court. The social media network is believed to be ready to accuse Apple of violating antitrust laws by using the iPhone's popularity to force a major change on third party app developers. In order to keep iOS users from constantly being served up targeted ads, iPhone and iPad users would have to opt-in and allow themselves to be tracked. Since you could assume that most iPhone users would prefer not to be tracked, this change is going to negatively impact outfits like Facebook that derive a large percentage of their business from posting online ads.
Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the opening address during a panel at the European Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP) conference. According to AppleInsider, Cook discussed Apple's privacy initiatives pointing out the dangers of business models that rely on collecting personal information from users. During his address, Cook stated, "As I've said before, if we accept as normal that everything in our lives can be aggregated and sold, then that we lose so much more than data. We lose the freedom to be human." The executive did not mention Facebook specifically although those who have been following recent events had a good inkling about which company he was talking about.
Discussing the dangers of businesses that collect personal user information, Apple's CEO said, "If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves scorn." Cook also said that such businesses could lead to polarization, distrust of life saving vaccinations, and violence set off by extremist groups. Many of these outcomes are already being seen in the United States. Cook also spoke about Apple's decision to protect its users' privacy "to create ripples of positive change across the industry."
Cook said, "At Apple, we made our choice a long time ago. We believe that ethical technology is technology that works for you. It's technology that helps you sleep, not keeps you up. It tells you when you've had enough, it gives you space to create, or draw, or write or learn, not refresh just one more time. It's technology that can fade into the background when you're on a hike or going for a swim but is there to warn you when your heart rate spikes or help you when you've had a nasty fall. And with all of this, always, it's privacy and security first, because no-one needs to trade away the rights of their users to deliver a great product."