The on-going feud between Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook, the leaders of two of the most influential companies in the world, Facebook and Apple respectively, is not hidden from the world. The spat is related to how companies use consumer data.
Earlier this year during an interview with Recode, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook without directly pointing out Zuckerberg said he would never allow people’s data to be stolen the way Facebook has in recent years. Cook was talking about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal which exposed the personal data of around 87 million Facebook users for political profiling.
“The truth is we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer. If our customer was our product, we could make a ton of money,” Cook said. “We’ve elected not to do that. You are not our product. We’re not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right. It’s a civil liberty.”
According to a recent New York Times report, Cook’s statement angered the Facebook founder who subsequently ordered Facebook executives to use Android phones instead of iPhones, giving a reason that more Facebook users accessed the platform using non-Apple smartphones.
The report further claimed that Facebook did nothing even after finding out that people from all over the world exploited the social media platform to disrupt elections, broadcast and share viral propaganda and inspire deadly hate campaigns around the globe. It also exposed Facebook’s involvement in the Russia investigation as well as sex trafficking legislation.
The report claimed that Facebook hired a PR firm called Definers Public Affairs to push negative content about its rival companies, including Apple and Google.
In response, Facebook has released a lengthy blog post calling the NYT report inaccurate and addressing Cook’s criticism directly.
“Tim Cook has consistently criticized our business model, and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees. So there’s been no need to employ anyone else to do this for us. And we’ve long encouraged our employees and executives to use Android because it is the most popular operating system in the world,” the blog post read.
The blog post also addressed the issue of Definers, confirming that the social networking giant never paid Definers to write articles spreading misinformation.