- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was prepared to criticise Apple and its CEO, Tim Cook, during the Senate hearing he testified at on Tuesday.
- According to his notes, Zuckerberg was ready to declare that Apple’s data practices are similar, if not less consumer friendly, than Facebook’s.
- Cook has been critical of Facebook’s data collection practices, even calling for new regulations to rein them in.
Under fire for his company’s privacy practices on Capitol Hill, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was prepared to lob a bomb of his own at Tim Cook – his counterpart at Apple.
Cook has been pointedly critical of Facebook’s data collection in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, even calling for regulation that would limit such practices. Should he have been asked about Cook’s comments at the Senate hearing he testified at Tuesday, Zuckerberg was prepared to fire back at Apple’s leader, his notes indicate.
There are “lots of stories about apps misusing Apple data,” read Zuckerberg’s notes, which were captured in a photo by a sharp-eyed Associated Press photographer during a short period when they were visible during the hearing.
The notes show that Zuckerberg was prepared to assert that Apple’s data practices are “similar” to Facebook’s, and that Zuckerberg had “never seen Apple notify people” about any misuse of its customers’ data.
“When you install an app on your iPhone, you give it access to some information, just like when you login with [Facebook],” Zuckerberg’s notes say.
“We’ve solved problems before”
It’s easy to see why Zuckerberg would draw a comparison to Apple – after all, Cook, whose company makes money from selling hardware products instead of selling ads, has tried to portray Apple as morally superior to Facebook.
In a recent interview Cook answered a question about what he would do if he were in Zuckerberg’s shoes with the terse quip that he wouldn’t ever be in Zuckerberg’s situation. Cook also said that the ability of companies to gather data on people’s web browsing, the people they associate with, and sensitive details about their lives “shouldn’t exist.”
Zuckerberg’s two pages of typed notes include some of the talking points he uttered repeatedly at the hearing. They also indicate the range of topics he was prepared to discuss. Among them were whether he planned to resign from Facebook. Short answer: No.
“I made mistakes,” Zuckerberg’s notes read. Solving this problem, they continued, is a “big challenge, but we’ve solved problems before [and we’re] going to solve this one.”
More on Zuckerberg’s blockbuster Senate hearing:
- Business Insider’s live blog of the entire hearing
- Zuckerberg hinted that Facebook could offer a paid version one day
- Zuckerberg says AI won’t be able to reliably detect hate speech for ‘five to 10’ years
- Zuckerberg says Mueller’s office has interviewed Facebook employees in the Russia investigation
- Zuckerberg claims no knowledge of Palantir’s involvement with the Facebook, Cambridge Analytica scandal
- Zuckerberg will not be under oath during his Senate hearing, but will still have a ‘legal obligation to testify truthfully’