Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Hits Back At Criticism From Apple CEO Tim Cook

Representational Image for Facebook. | Reuters
Representational Image for Facebook. | Reuters
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03 April, 2018

As Common Dreams reported last week, revelations that the pro-Trump data firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the personal information of 50 million Facebook users brought renewed attention to the social media giant's far-reaching and "creepy" data mining practices-which include the collection of call records, text messaging data, and online messenger conversations dating back longer than a decade. Still, Apple executives, including Steve Jobs, have criticized internet company advertising business models in the past. "You know, I find that argument, that if you're not paying that somehow we can't care about you, to be extremely glib".

He referred to the Menlo Park company's oft-stated mission of connecting "everyone in the world", said not everyone can afford to pay for such a service, and that an ad-supported platform such as Facebook is the "only rational model".

Apple makes the vast majority of its money selling hardware, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

The information collected from all users by Facebook is used by advertising specialists and marketing experts that help advertisers target their material at certain demographics, but Facebook is not supposed to actually share that data.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg maintained that one of Facebook's problems was that it was "idealistic".

"You can imagine some sort of structure, nearly like a Supreme Court, that is made up of independent folks who don't work for Facebook, who ultimately make the final judgment call on what should be acceptable speech", he said.

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"He said, 'There are companies that work hard to charge you more, and there are companies that work hard to charge you less.' And at Facebook, we are squarely in the camp of the companies that work hard to charge you less and provide a free service that everyone can use".

An official statement issued last month had said: "Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, has issued a notice.to Cambridge Analytica, wherein the serious breach of propriety and misuse of data meant to profile and influence voting behaviour has been highlighted".

The Cambridge Analytica mess is just the latest major headache for the world's largest social network, which has more than 2 billion users. Zuckerberg apologized for the data breach and offered to testify before Congress about the scandal. Ezra Klein noted that there was no "quadrennial election for CEO of Facebook", which may lead to a lack of accountability for the company.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Mark Zuckerberg hits back at Tim Cook".

"We may share information with our employees and authorized third-party providers for them to administer your account and any services provided to you through Vero", the manifesto states.


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