While all eyes are focused on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica since the scandal broke , here is a voice that we did not particularly expect to hear on this topic: that of Tim Cook. The CEO of Apple has indeed expressed on the subject while he was in Beijing. On that occasion, he pleaded for tougher regulation to avoid the resurgence of this type of problem.
” I think this particular situation is so serious and so important that it is probably necessary to put in place a well-designed regulation ,” he said, whose remarks were reported by Bloomberg . ” The ability of anyone to know what you have been watching for years, who are your contacts, who are their contacts, what do you like and do not like and every intimate detail of your life – from my point of view , that should not exist .
” We have been concerned for many years that people in many countries are abandoning their data, probably without knowing exactly what [companies] are doing […], that someday something would happen and that people would be unbelievably shocked by what was done without them realizing it , “he added. ” Unfortunately, this prediction came true more than once .”
FACEBOOK REMAINS A RIVAL
The release of Tim Cook is not necessarily entirely innocent: even if the business model of Apple is relatively different from Facebook – the first builds electronic devices while the second manages a social network, for short – both companies may be in direct competition in a number of sectors, such as artificial intelligence.
Naturally, one can understand from a competitor that he wants his rival to have additional obligations to respect, so that all these regulatory and legislative barriers impede relatively his freedom of movement. Thus, the General Regulation on data protection , even if it will affect Apple, is, we can imagine, well received in Cupertino for the new constraints it will weigh on Facebook.
However, it would probably be insufficient to limit Tim Cook’s comment to a simple competitive logic. Obviously, there is a deep divergence of views between Apple and Facebook, as the two companies do not have the same business model at all. The Cupertino company is thus very little – if at all – dependent on personal data, unlike the creation of Mark Zuckerberg.
DIVERGENCE OF VIEW
This is not the first time that Tim Cook has attacked Facebook and, through him, his business model. In 2015, while receiving a prize at a ceremony organized by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which is a leading American association dedicated to the defense of digital freedoms, the Apple CEO attacked these companies that live only with the exploitation of personal data.
” Our privacy is attacked on multiple fronts. […] Some of the largest and most successful companies have built their business model by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information. They gobble up everything they know about you and then try to profit from it, “said the entrepreneur.
And if he was careful not to name his targets, everyone understood who spoke Tim Cook: Google, Facebook and Yahoo.