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Apple CEO Tim Cook has made no secret of his disapproval of how some tech companies slice and dice consumer data.
He was at it again in an interview aired last night on Vice News, in which he took to task—without naming names—
Google (GOOGL) for sharing data with third parties. Both companies insist richer data is necessary for their business models, which rely heavily on advertising revenue.
“The narrative that some companies will try to get you to believe is: ‘I’ve got to take all of your data to make my service better.’ Well, don’t believe them,” Cook told Vice. “Whoever’s telling you that, it’s a bunch of bunk.”
Cook’s interview, conducted 10 days ago, is part of a years-long strategy to differentiate
(AAPL) from its tech rivals. The narrative has become more relevant amid increased regulatory scrutiny over how social media companies treat consumer data. We weighed in on the growing tech divide in a recent Barron’s cover story.
In his Vice interview, Cook repeated Apple’s mantra to “collect as little data as possible” reiterating that the company considers privacy to be “one of the most important issues of the 21st century.”
Cook’s comments to Vice predate the latest wave of security and privacy issues facing Facebook and Google.
Last week, Facebook disclosed a breach impacting at least 50 million users–a disclosure that has drawn the attention of Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, and could cost Facebook up to $1.63 billion in fines.
Meanwhile, Google, which has managed to remain fairly quiet around privacy issues, is now being ensnared in the debate. On Tuesday, White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai will visit the White House, probably in mid-October.
Write to Jon Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org