Apple CEO Tim Cook Slams Facebook, Says Privacy Is A Human Right

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Following the recent scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm and consultancy agency, the world's largest social network and its leader, Mark Zuckerberg, find themselves the recipient of harsh criticism. There are some high profile names among the enraged and outspoken, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who suggested that Facebook should be regulated at this point.

If you haven't been following the situation, here's a quick recap of events to date: Facebook is in hot water with users and lawmakers after it was discovered that Cambridge Analytica managed to improperly obtain the data of around 50 million Facebook users, and may have shared that information with Donald's Trump 2016 presidential campaign. It all traces back to a personality quiz app that was installed by 300,000 Facebook users, and by granting the app permission to access contacts, it was able to amass a much wider collection of data. Researcher Aleksandr Kogan then shared that information with Cambridge Analytica.

Technically that is not a security breach, though Zuckerberg knows Facebook screwed up. Now he has to deal with a #DeleteFacebook campaign that is trending, and is expected to testify before Congress on how something like this could happen in the first place. And of course there is the criticism some of technology's biggest names.

"We could make a ton of money if we monetized our customers, if our customers were our product," Cook said in an interview with Recode and MSNBC that is scheduled to air on 6 April. "We’ve elected not to do that… We’re not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty."

While Apple has its own critics, Cook's criticism of Facebook is line with how Apple has operated in the past with regards to protecting user data. Apple held its ground in not building a backdoor into its mobile devices for government agencies to thwart its encryption scheme, and was willing to fight the issue in court when the Federal Bureau of Investigation tried to legally compel Apple to break into an iPhone that belonged to a terrorist involved in the deadly San Bernardino shooting.

Cook also said that even though "the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation," he thinks Facebook has moved beyond that point. "I think that this certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary," Cook added.

That is perhaps getting ahead of things, though Facebook is under investigation for its privacy snafu, so anything is possible.

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