Tim Cook blasts Facebook over data privacy

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Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook had harsh words for Facebook and the recent uproar over how the social network handled user data.

"We could make a ton of money if we monetized our customers, if our customers were our product", Cook told MSNBC and Recode in an interview set to air April 6. "We've elected not to do that", he continued.

As Facebook continues to get blasted for its privacy snafu and the #DeleteFacebook campaign rages on, Cook insists that Apple will not "traffic your personal life". Cook repeated the mantra of his predecessor, the late Steve Jobs, that maintaining user privacy is important to Apple in contrast to its competitors.

When asked what he would do if he was in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg's situation, Cook simply said he "wouldn't be in this situation" to begin with.

"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", Cook said at the government-sponsored event, which he was a co-chair of this year. We've worked for the music industry to code things explicit, and so a parent could say, "I don't want my child listening to explicit content". It's a civil liberty, and something that is unique to America.

More news: Toyota's Aging RAV4 Getting Major Makeover to Defend Sales Crown

Apple's initiative is timed ahead of Europe's upcoming GDPR data privacy law, which will tighten up rules that companies have to follow when dealing with users' personal information. On the other hands, Facebook and other social media giants have made a lucrative business by selling consumer data to the ad firms. Lawmakers have also floated tougher rules on the company and two Congressional committees have formally invited the Facebook CEO to testify.

In 2014 when Facebook was the golden child of the tech industry, Apple in an open letter to its customers had said, "When an online service is free".

Cook's comments in the interview are not the first time he has weighed in on the Facebook data controversy.

"Cook also took a swipe at Amazon's Jeffrey P. Bezos when Chris Hayes asked the former Amazon's much-publicized search for a location for its new campus".

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