Facebook is Silicon Valley’s punching bag du jour following the Cambridge Analytica crisis, and Apple’s CEO just threw an uppercut.
Asked what he would do if he was Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook said Wednesday: “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Goodness! And look at that face.
Of course, Tim Cook really wouldn’t be in this situation, given that he isn’t in the social media business. (Ping, a failed social network tied to iTunes, was a product of the Steve Jobs era, after all.) And Apple has championed user privacy to an extreme degree, notably warring with the FBI over a locked iPhone connected to a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.
“The FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation,” Cook wrote at the time. “In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”
Facebook takes a decidedly more liberal approach with a user’s personal data. Though the social network’s policies have changed in the time since, Cambridge Analytica was able to collect information on 50 million profiles, though only 270,000 people opted into the company’s service. That information was then exploited for the Trump campaign.
And Facebook is also able to collect a lot of personal data through its Android apps, which are more liberal with permissions than iOS is: another point in Apple’s favor, if you’re concerned about this kind of thing. (You probably should be!)
The full interview with Cook, conducted by Kara Swisher and Chris Hayes following Apple’s education event in Chicago this week, is set to air Friday on MSNBC.