Mark Zuckerberg Calls Tim Cook's Facebook Criticism "Extremely Glib"

Mark Zuckerberg -Annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference -Getty-H 2017
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The Facebook founder fired back at the Apple CEO's recent comments about the social media company and its handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Mark Zuckerberg has responded to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s unfavorable comments about Facebook’s business model and the social network's handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Cook slammed Zuckerberg in a March interview with Recode and MSNBC, explaining why he believes companies like Facebook should be regulated by the government to limit the use of consumer data. As previously reported, Cambridge Analytica — an analytics firm with ties to Donald Trump's presidential campaign — exploited the private data of more than 50 million Facebook users.

Asked about the controversy, Cook questioned Facebook’s monetization of user data on social platforms and scoffed, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Speaking to Vox for a story published on Monday, Zuckerberg responded to Cook’s criticism. “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 said. “The reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay.”

He added, “Having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people.”

Though he doesn’t agree with Cook’s assessment, Zuckerberg has taken responsibility for the mishandling of user data. Last month, the tech entrepreneur took out an ad in the New York Times to apologize to users.

"We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can't, we don't deserve it," he wrote, days after a Times exposé revealed Cambridge Analytica’s secretive and pivotal involvement in Trump’s election win. Zuckerberg went on to label the Cambridge Analytica "quiz app" that gathered users' personal information a “breach of trust” and made a promise to “do better for you.”

Facebook has been facing increased scrutiny in the weeks since it was revealed that data firm Cambridge Analytica had been able to access the private information of over 50 million users that it then used to sway public sentiment during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Congress has called on Zuckerberg to testify about its handling of the incident and the measures it takes to protect user privacy.