Tim Cook continues to hold Facebook’s feet to the flames, arguing that hoarding data does 'significant harm'

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesApple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference.
  • Tim Cook told a Fortune event that Apple “felt strongly about privacy when no one cared.”
  • In another thinly-disguised attack on Facebook, he said Apple believes that hoarding user information can result in “significant harm over time.”
  • Facebook has previously rejected Cook’s characterization of its business model.
  • Sheryl Sandberg has said Facebook is proud of its ad-funded product which is available for free.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has renewed his thinly-disguised attack on Facebook, taking the opportunity to again criticise companies that hoard people’s data.

Speaking at the Fortune CEO Initiative in San Francisco on Monday, Cook suggested that Apple was way ahead of the rest of Silicon Valley when it comes to protecting user data.

“We felt strongly about privacy when no one cared,” Cook told the audience. “We could not see the specific details, but we could see that the building of the detailed profile on people likely would result in significant harm over time.”

He added: “People in today’s environment don’t have a full view of who has what, and how much of their lives has been open to commercial entities and public entities.”

Cook said privacy is one of the key issues that he is prepared to talk about publicly along with immigration, education, and the environment. “There’s something that we have where we can bring a point of view… and we feel we have something to offer in those spaces,” the Apple CEO said.

It is one of a number of broadsides Cook has levelled at Facebook. He told students at the Duke University in North Carolina last month that Apple rejects “the excuse that getting the most out of technology means trading away your right to privacy.”

A couple of weeks later, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said she “strongly disagrees” with Cook’s barbs.

“Mark [Zuckerberg] and I strongly disagree with their characterization of our product,” Sandberg said. “We’re proud of the business model we’ve built. We have an ad-supported business that allows people all around the world to use a product for free.”

You can watch the full interview here:

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