Which company cares about you more? Apple or Facebook?
Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook raised eyebrows when he suggested that Facebook’s whole business model was flawed for prioritizing advertisers over actual users.
“I wouldn’t be in this situation,” Cook said in comments weighing in on the Cambridge Analytica scandal engulfing Facebook.
Apparently, the criticism didn’t sit well with Mark Zuckerberg, who has decided to hit back. In a new interview, Facebook’s CEO called Cook’s argument, “extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth.”
“If you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something that people can afford,” he said in an interview with Vox Media published on Monday.
The verbal jabs revolve around Facebook’s business model, which is built off your data to craft targeted ads. Unfortunately, the company’s data-mining processes can be abused. Last month, news emerged that 50 million Facebook users had their personal details transferred to a UK political consultancy called Cambridge Analytica without their consent, sparking a firestorm of criticism against the social media giant.
Apple’s CEO has also been alarmed by the privacy abuse. In an interview with Recode, Cook took a shot at Facebook’s ad-based business model, saying in an interview: “The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer —if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that.”
In other words: Apple prioritizes privacy because it can. After all, the company sells hardware, not your data. In the same interview, Cook also called for regulation to limit what data Facebook and other companies can pull from customers.
Facebook initially remained quiet on Cook’s comments. But on Monday, Zuckerberg called out Apple’s criticism and took a swipe at the company’s pricey hardware.
“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,” he said.
In Monday’s interview, Zuckerberg said he was focused on the best interests of the Facebook community, adding; “We are not at the whims of short-term shareholders.” But he admitted his company failed to forsee how bad actors could abuse the platform.
“When we started, we thought about how good it would be if people could connect, if everyone had a voice. Frankly, we didn’t spend enough time investing in, or thinking through, some of the downside uses of the tools,” he said.
To address the problems, Zuckerberg said he’s focusing on making Facebook more transparent. “I think we will dig through this hole, but it will take a few years,” he added.