Tim Cook hits Facebook again over privacy concerns

Tim Cook took a break from criticizing Facebook on Tuesday to present the next step in Apple’s big education plans. But the CEO is back at it. Sitting down with MSNBC and Recode at a town hall event, Cook was once again asked about consumer privacy in the wake of fallout over Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica quagmire.

Cook interviews that while he believed self-regulation is best in the case of these tech giants, “I think we’re beyond that.” Asked what he would do, were he in Zuckerberg’s position, he added, simply, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

The executive has never shied away from criticizing Facebook, of course. In 2015, he indirectly criticized the approach of internet companies like Google and Facebook, stating “They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.”

Just this weekend, he echoed that statement, with a more direct jab at Facebook, following the Cambridge Analytica revelations, telling the audience at a conference in China, “The ability of anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life — from my own point of view it shouldn’t exist.”

Cook echoed those statements onstage this week, adding, “The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that.”

The company reflected that sentiment in an updated privacy policy posted back in January, explaining that,

Apple believes privacy is a fundamental human right, so every Apple product is designed to:

  • Use on-device processing wherever possible
  • Limit the collection and use of data
  • Provide transparency and control over your information
  • Build on a strong foundation of security