In his opening speech to one of the panels of the European conference “Computers, Privacy & Data Protection” (CPDP), Apple CEO Tim Cook presented the business models the social media platforms and other services that live on user-generated content, criticized unusually sharp. The name “Facebook” was not mentioned, but that was not necessary in order to understand who Cook might have meant here in the first place.
Cook: Selling user data is not commendable business model
“If we accept it as normal that everything in our life can be collected and sold, then we lose so much more than just data. We lose the freedom to be human, “Cook told his audience in his usual calm tone, before adding:” When a company is focused on misleading users, on the exploitation of data, on choices that are not choices , is built, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform. ”
Cook even went so far as to make platforms that take the position that any form of user engagement is good and better the longer it lasts, the complicity in spreading conspiracy theories and other misinformation. In this way, social media would contribute to increasing polarization in society and ultimately to outbreaks of violence.
Stricter data protection under iOS drives Facebook on the palm
As an alternative, Cook presented Apple’s own efforts to improve the protection of the privacy of its customers and praised the European General Data Protection Regulation, for which he Has long wanted a US equivalent. Only recently, the dispute over Apple’s new way of handling the device-specific advertising ID on iOS devices, with Facebook’s announcement that it would file a competition lawsuit against Apple, entered the next round.
Facebook is bothered by the fact that iOS users will in future be able to expressly allow or reject the use of the advertising ID with which individual devices and thus individual users can be identified. Since users do not have any advantage from accessing this ID, for example Facebook, it is expected that the majority of users will not give the required consent. That would shake Facebook’s advertising model.
Google sees problems with third-party developers
Even Google does not necessarily agree with Apple’s new data protection rules, but has announced that it will bow to them. However, the search engine giant sees an economic problem facing smaller developers who, for example, finance their apps with advertisements instead of selling them.
Cook understands the excitement Not. In his view, “nobody has to sell their users’ data to deliver a great product”. Rather, technology must primarily serve to support the user and not the provider’s business model.
Update 01/29/2020 13:50: This was in an earlier version Word “contempt” instead of “reform”. It was a misunderstanding of the word “scorn” instead of “reform”.