There was a time when Facebook and Apple had a good relationship. Later, as Facebook grew and began to collect data indiscriminately, the relationship quickly deteriorated. In this context, the NYT yesterday published an interesting anecdote about Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg.
A progressive distance fruit of the vision of privacy
The rift between Apple and Facebook, or between Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg, began in 2018. At that time Tim Cook began to be clearer about privacy and to defend it as a “fundamental basic right.” In that same year, 2018, Facebook was involved in a major crisis. Zuckerberg testified before Congress where he was asked how the social network allowed data to be leaked from more than 50 million users and how these were used to influence the US presidential elections.
In this context, during an interview with MSNBC, Tim Cook was asked what he would do if he found himself in Zuckerberg’s position. The response of the CEO of Apple was received with laughter and applause from the audience, stating, categorically, that “I would not be in this position”.
Since then the issue of privacy and data collection has been present in Tim Cook’s interviews. In a conference in the context of the European Union CPDP, the Apple executive made a clear reference to Facebook, although without mentioning its name:
If a business is based on deceiving users, on data exploitation, on elections [del usuario] that they are not elections at all, it does not deserve our praise, it deserves a reform.
In April of this year, with the announcement of the App Tracking Transparency that arrived yesterday, the issue of privacy came up again because Facebook labeled the new feature an “existential crisis” for its business.. In this context Tim Cook pronounced himself like this:
“Everything we’re doing, Kara [la entrevistadora], is to give the user the option to be tracked or not. And I think it’s hard to argue against that. I was surprised that there has been a rejection of this up to this point. “
Tim Cook’s response to Mark Zukerberg
Placed in the context of recent years, the NYT yesterday published an interesting curiosity about how Mark Zuckerberg asked Tim Cook for advice during a meeting in July 2019. This meeting was held at the invitation of the investment bank Allen & Company in a context in which the Cambridge Analytica scandal was raging.
“At the meeting, Zuckerberg asked Cook how he would handle the fallout from the crisis, people with knowledge of the conversation said. Mr. Cook responded sourly that Facebook should remove any information it had collected about people outside of its main applications. Mr. Zuckerberg was stunned, the people said, that they were not authorized to speak publicly. “
An answer that, beyond curiosity, gives us a glimpse of the scale of values applied by Apple when making decisions about privacy. We know that privacy is inherent in Apple products, but it is not coincidence or chance. It is the result of measures such as the App Tracking Transparency that is already in force today and of a systematic respect for the user and the basic human right that is privacy.