Published: Sun, April 01, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Tim Cook casts corner-office shade on Mark Zuckerberg

Tim Cook casts corner-office shade on Mark Zuckerberg

Apple is markedly different to other major tech firms such as Google and Facebook, which use customer data monetisation as a keystone of their business model, while the former focuses far more on hardware sales.

If you haven't been following the situation, here's a quick recap of events to date: Facebook is in hot water with users and lawmakers after it was discovered that Cambridge Analytica managed to improperly obtain the data of around 50 million Facebook users, and may have shared that information with Donald's Trump 2016 presidential campaign.

Cook also isn't a fan of the way Facebook builds "detailed profiles" of their users, "patched together from several sources". "It can be abused by advertisers as well".

"The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer - if our customer was our product", Cook said.

However, Cook appears to have worked out that Apple's target market is not right-wing neo-conservative Christians in the USA bible belt, but young upwardly mobile kids in cities who have more money than sense and know little about technology. "I think the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation", the exec said in an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher and MSNBC's Chris Hayes. Regulation can have unexpected consequences, right? "However, I think we're beyond that here", Cook said.

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I think this should be allowed to go forward and all efforts should be geared towards making the timetable a great success.

Cook said it's time for regulators to step in, although he believes Facebook had a chance to avoid that. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn't necessarily seem opposed to that idea.

Speaking in an interview with USA network MSNBC and tech site Recode, the Apple chief executive said that while he believed tech firms should self-regulate, it was too late for Facebook.

Apple may require Facebook to make its data harvesting intentions clearer to users in the App Store - this could be a way to inform people in a more obvious way about what they are actually agreeing to. This is not something that we just started last week when we saw something happening.

"I'm not making fun of it!", replied Cook. "I wouldn't be in the situation".

Earlier on Wednesday, Cook explained in an MSNBC interview Apple's policy of reviewing all App Store applications before allowing them to reach potential users.

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