A war of words has erupted between Apple chief executive Tim Cook and Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg over data privacy and regulation.
Two weeks ago, news broke that Facebook had somehow let London-based marketing firm Cambridge Analytica gain unauthorised access to the personal information of 50 million user accounts.
As a result, the social media giant has received criticism from consumers, lawmakers, campaigners and investors across the globe. They’ve slammed the firm for fostering a lackluster approach to data privacy.
The company has also been inundated with scathing comments from some of the technology industry’s most powerful executives, including Apple boss Tim Cook.
Last week, Cook suggested that Facebook should be subjected to “well-crafted” regulation to ensure that such an incident never happens again.
Speaking at a business conference in China last week, Reuters cited Cook as saying: “It’s clear to me that something, some large profound change is needed.”
“I’m personally not a big fan of regulation because sometimes regulation can have unexpected consequences to it.”
“However I think this certain situation is so dire, and has become so large, that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary.”
And in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Cook said that privacy is a “human right” and a “civil liberty”. He suggested that regulators should limit the amount of personal data that firms like Facebook can utilize.
Cook claimed that Apple would never find itself in a data privacy scandal because the company makes most of its money through hardware sales. It doesn’t sell personal information to third-parties.
Now, Mark Zuckerberg has caught wind of these comments. Speaking on Vox podcast The Ezra Klein Show, he attempted to fight off the points made by Cook.
He said: “You know, I find that argument, that if you’re not paying that somehow we can’t care about you, to be extremely glib. And not at all aligned with the truth,” said Zuckerberg.
Suggesting that Apple is hypocritical, he added: “If you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something people can afford.”
“I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm Syndrome, and let the companies that work hard to charge you more, convince you that they actually care more about you. Because that sounds ridiculous to me.”