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Apple CEO Tim Cook Criticizes Facebook’s Approach to Privacy

March 28, 2018, 11:08 PM UTC

Apple CEO Tim Cook had harsh words for Facebook and the recent uproar over how the social network handled user data.

Cook said Wednesday in an interview with tech news site Recode and MSNBC that Apple is “not going to traffic in your personal life,” a dig at rival companies that collect and share vast troves of personal information that he called “an invasion of privacy.”

Facebook (FB), of course, has come under fire in recent days for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the political consulting firm allegedly obtained the information of 50 million Facebook users without their consent. It was given the information by an academic, who violated Facebook policies by sharing it.

When asked what he would do if he were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Cook said, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.” Cook repeated the mantra of his predecessor, the late Steve Jobs, that maintaining user privacy is important to Apple in contrast to its competitors.

“This is not something that we just started last week when we saw something happening,” Cook said. “We’ve been doing this for years.”

He said that Apple (AAPL) “could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer,” referring to the practice of showing personalized ads to users based on information like their online behavior.

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“If our customer was our product, we could make a ton of money,” Cook said. “We’ve elected not to do that.”