Tim Cook has been extremely critical of Facebook allowing user data to be misused in the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

Cook described the situation as ‘dire’ and said the problem was so bad that ‘well-crafted regulation‘ might be the only way to ensure it couldn’t happen again …

“I think that this certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary,” Cook said after being asked if the use of data should be restricted in light of the Facebook incident.

He followed this with quite the zinger in a subsequent interview. Asked what he would do in Zuckerberg’s situation, Cook replied simply: ‘I wouldn’t be in this situation.’

Zuckerberg has now responded directly in a Vox podcast, as noted by Business Insider.

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.

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.

This is not a new argument between the two CEOs. As far back as 2014, Tim Cook famously said of ad-funded services that ‘when an online service is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.’ Facebook’s founder later hit back, calling the comment ‘ridiculous’ and saying that if Apple really cared about its customers, it would charge less.

I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!

There are arguments to be made about the balance between privacy and utility, but I think Apple is on the right side of this one.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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