Apple CEO Tim Cook Rips Facebook: "Privacy Is a Human Right"

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Tim Cook

The executive, speaking with Recode's Kara Swisher and MSNBC's Chris Hayes, said he "wouldn't be in this situation" if he were Mark Zuckerberg.

Apple CEO Tim Cook believes it is too late for social platforms like Facebook to avoid regulation. 

"I think the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation," the exec said in an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher and MSNBC's Chris Hayes. "However, I think we're beyond that here."

Cook's comments, reported by Recode, were part of a taped interview for MSNBC's Revolution, which will air Friday, April 6. He was responding to the latest concerns over user privacy on Facebook that have emerged in the days since it was revealed Cambridge Analytica was able to obtain private data for over 50 million Facebook users. 

Cook also said, "Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty.”

Of course, Cook runs a very different business than Facebook, which primarily generates revenue through advertising. Apple sells products to consumers and has largely stayed away from the advertising business. The CEO noted that comparison in the interview, saying "we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product. We've elected not to do that." 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come under fire for not protecting user data. Congress has called on him to speak next month and there are rumblings that regulation will soon follow. Asked what he would do if he were in Zuckerberg's shoes, Cook responded, "I wouldn't be in this situation." 

Cook has been vocal on the subject of Facebook in recent days. During a talk at the China Development Forum in Beijing last Friday, he called for stronger regulations around user privacy. "I think that this certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary," he is reported as saying. 

Cook's full interview with Swisher and Hayes can be seen April 6 at 8 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

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