Tim Cook Responds to Facebook Criticism of iOS App Tracking Transparency Changes, Says It's 'Hard To Argue Against' Privacy

In a preview of an interview with The New York Times' Kara Swisher, set to be published on Monday, April 5, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he's "shocked" at the criticism Apple has received in recent months over upcoming privacy changes in iOS, and claimed that they're "hard to argue against."

tim cook data privacy day
Apple plans to begin enforcing App Tracking Transparency (ATT) changes following the release of iOS 14.5, meaning all apps that access an iPhone's ad identifier, or IDFA, will need to ask a user's permission before tracking is allowed.

The move has provoked criticism from some companies, particularly Facebook, which argues that the new changes will hurt small businesses.

Facebook says that small businesses rely on tracking to provide personalized ads and that with ATT, those ads will be less effective. However, when asked in the interview how ATT will impact Facebook, Cook said he's "not focused on Facebook" and that he doesn't know.

Swisher asked: "What is your response to Facebook's response — which is quite vehement — calling you essentially an existential crisis to their business?" Cook answered: " All we're doing, Kara, is giving the user the choice whether to be tracked or not. And I think it's hard to argue against that. I've been — I've been shocked that there's been pushback on this to this degree."

Facebook initially went all out against ATT; however, the company has recently shifted its tone. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg now claims it's possible that the new change may benefit Facebook by giving it an upper hand in the online commerce space.

It's possible that we may even be in a stronger position if Apple's changes encourage more businesses to conduct more commerce on our platforms by making it harder for them to use their data in order to find the customers that would want to use their products outside of our platforms.

Cook's latest comments are just a snippet of the full interview set to be published on Monday in which the CEO discusses the removal of Parler from the App Store, the power of Big Tech, and what it's like being called "Tim Apple."

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Top Rated Comments

MacBH928 Avatar
42 months ago
Just ban FB apps for unethical business behaviour like they ban tabacco ads
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Vol Braakzakje Avatar
42 months ago
Wow! Many [S]FacePoop[/S] Facebook trolls in here!

Don't buy into it people. Facebook is trying so hard to be the good guy here. But they are not.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xyz01 Avatar
42 months ago

Says the CEO of a company which literally recorded people’s conversations without their knowledge and sent them to third party contractors! Kudos to focus on privacy but for the love of god start practicing what you preach.
The full context here is that these snippets were anonymous, and no longer connected to a user. It would also not be entire conversations, but situations that triggered Siri and Siri didn't understand.

Sure, it's better now where you are asked when you set up the device and then the same thing happens as before - but I just don't see that as a big deal.

There are aspects of Apple's business I find problematic (usually ones related to using position in one market to get positions in others), but privacy is not one of them.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
George Dawes Avatar
42 months ago
?‍♀️
Facebook cares about small business ? Really ?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Realityck Avatar
42 months ago
Maybe we be more sympathetic if Facebook actually respected and protected user data, but they don't.

[HEADING=2]Facebook’s Data Breaches – A Timeline ('https://selfkey.org/facebooks-data-breaches-a-timeline/')[/HEADING]
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jazz Baby Avatar
42 months ago
Facebook trolls on Macrumors, fake supporters of Amazon tweeting how great Amazon is. Seems to me Putin's Play Book has found some friends in 'Merica.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)