As a result of this clashing viewpoint, Apple CEO Tim Cook has on many occasions taken shots at Facebook — particularly this year when the social media giant was already under fire for high-profile data breaches. Back in March, Cook said of companies like Facebook, "We're not going to traffic in your personal life.” Elsewhere in the MSNBC interview, Cook added, "Privacy to us is a human right. It's a civil liberty.
“We’ve never believed that these detailed profiles of people, that have incredibly deep personal information that is patched together from several sources, should exist.”
This conflict has reportedly boiled over, and a New York Times article posted yesterday alleges that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was incensed by Cook’s comments. In the piece, it is alleged that Zuckerberg “ordered” his executive team to ditch iPhones and only use Android phones as a sort of “payback” and to show solidarity. In addition, Zuckerberg contended that Android is [justifiably] the most used operating system on the market, and it would make sense for execs to highlight that platform.
In a blog post today that issues a bulleted rebuttal to many of the allegations in the NYTstory, Facebook posted the following rebuttal specific to the allegations of an iPhone ban:
Android: 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.
This isn’t so much a thorough rebuke of what the NYTreported, as it simply uses the softer language of “encouraged” versus “ordered”. Regardless, it’s not exactly a terrible move for Zuckerberg to make the request given Android’s complete dominance of the smartphone OS market. And if a tech luminary is constantly bashing your product and your business model, it’s a move that can even be widely condoned.
However, we have the feeling that the Apple-Facebook barbs will not be letting up anytime soon as the two incompatible viewpoints on data privacy are heading towards a combustible collision.