Tim Cook Urged Mark Zuckerberg to Delete User Data From 3rd Party Apps in Private 2019 Meeting

At a private meeting on the sidelines of an informal gathering of tech and social media executives in July of 2019 in Sun Valley, Idaho, Apple CEO Tim Cook urged Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg to delete all user information his company has collected from third-party apps, according to The New York Times.

tim cook mark zuckerberg
According to the Times, the executives met annually at the conference organized by investment bank Allen & Company to "catch up" and attempt to "repair their fraying relationship."

In particular, this meeting in the summer of 2019 came as Facebook was embroiled in a massive scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. Facebook had come under intense scrutiny for sharing the information of more than 50 million users, without their consent, with voter-profiling firm Cambridge Analytica to use for political ads during the 2016 Presidental election.

During their meeting, Zuckerberg reportedly asked Cook how he would deal with the situation. He responded that Facebook should delete user information it has collected from third-party apps.

At the meeting, Mr. Zuckerberg asked Mr. Cook how he would handle the fallout from the controversy, people with knowledge of the conversation said. Mr. Cook responded acidly that Facebook should delete any information that it had collected about people outside of its core apps.

According to people with direct knowledge of the meeting, Zuckerberg was "stunned" by Cook's answer given the fact that Facebook's business model consists of user data and using the data to provide more personalized ads. Zuckerberg interpreted Cook's answer as the CEO saying his business was "untenable."

During a TV interview with MSNBC in 2018, Cook was pressed on how he would deal with the situation Zuckerberg found himself in. "I wouldn't be in this situation," Cook responded.

The two executives and companies have rarely seen eye-to-eye, and the tension between the two is likely to reach its peak this week. In the coming days, Apple will release iOS and iPadOS 14.5 with ATT or App Tracking Transparency, which will crack down on apps tracking users across other apps and websites without their consent.

Once the iOS update is released, all apps, including Facebook, will be required to ask for a user's permission before tracking them across apps and websites owned by other companies. Users can accept to be tracked or not. If the latter, Apple will block that app from collecting data about the users from other apps and services.

Facebook has blasted the new change as unfair, calling it a severe blow to small businesses which use the Facebook platform and its accompanying ad business to run personalized ads for users. Facebook expects the majority of users to opt-out of tracking, which will, in turn, lead to less effective data for the social media giant to use to deliver tailored, personalized ads.

Despite his initial rejection of ATT, Mark Zuckerberg has recently changed tones on Apple's upcoming change. In a Clubhouse meeting earlier last month, the CEO says that Facebook may "be in a stronger position" due to the upcoming change possibly encouraging 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."

In public appearances and interviews in the run-up to the launch of ATT, Cook has said Apple is looking to provide users a choice about whether they wished to be tracked or not. In a recent speech at a privacy conference, Cook indirectly called out social media companies, including Facebook, that fuel disinformation and conspiracy theories with their algorithms.

Top Rated Comments

Quu Avatar
21 weeks ago
Facebook is a cancer on society and the more I learn about it the stronger I believe that.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tubular Avatar
21 weeks ago
Cook's not wrong.

If the Zuckerhead is so very very concerned about the impact of Apple's privacy settings on small businesses, he should show it by cutting them a discount.

What? He hasn't done that? It's almost as if the Zuckwit isn't telling the truth.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glideslope Avatar
21 weeks ago

Facebook is a cancer on society and the more I learn about it the stronger I believe that.
Absolutely. It’s fully metastasized, and destroying the Social Fabric of Society. Social Medial, not just Facebook will be our downfall. Zuck despite his chronological age is really no different than the young children/adults he coerces to his platform with targeted propaganda assimilated from his knowledge of their personal information.

One of the many items I am most proud of as a parent is that all of our adult children see Facebook for what is is and none have it on any devices.

The Pandemic has only made this worse with people home soo much more over the past year.

Zuck is nothing but a Personal Information Pimp. :mad:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tubular Avatar
21 weeks ago

Facebook is a cancer on society and the more I learn about it the stronger I believe that.
It's certainly been a remarkable gift to every racist crank, woo-merchant, and Holocaust denier on earth.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
clayj Avatar
21 weeks ago
Nitpick: The name of the company is Cambridge Analytica. There's no "l" on the end.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArPe Avatar
21 weeks ago
CA was enabled by FB.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

app store blue banner

Judge Grills Tim Cook on App Store Policies as End of of Epic Games v. Apple Trial Approaches

Friday May 21, 2021 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook testified in the Epic Games v. Apple trial today, and some of the final questioning by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers did not appear to go in Apple's favor. She spent several minutes grilling Cook on Apple's App Store policies and some of the statements that he made. "You said you want to give users control, so what's the problem with allowing users to have a cheaper option...
app tracking transparency twitter

Twitter Begins Asking Users to Enable Ad Tracking

Friday May 14, 2021 2:12 pm PDT by
Following an app update, Twitter today began asking users to enable ad tracking under Apple's App Tracking Transparency rules. After updating to version 8.65, which adds Spaces support, Twitter users will begin seeing a popup that asks them to "keep ads relevant" by allowing Twitter to track data from other companies like apps used and websites visited. Tapping "Continue" on the popup...
facebook pay qr codes

Facebook Pay Introduces Personalized QR Codes for Person-to-Person Payments

Monday April 5, 2021 6:51 am PDT by
Facebook Pay is expanding on its service by rolling out person-to-person payments via QR codes, allowing users to scan a friend or family member's QR code, and instantly transfer money. Facebook Pay launched in 2019 as an easy and convenient service for people to transfer money to friends and family, pay businesses, purchase products, and more. It's integrated into all of Facebook's apps,...
Tim Cook Feature Yellow

Apple CEO Tim Cook Testifies in Epic Games v. Apple Trial

Friday May 21, 2021 8:48 am PDT by
Today is the one of the last days of the Epic Games v. Apple trial, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken the stand to ask questions levied by both Apple and Epic lawyers. Cook's testimony won't be integral to the outcome of the trial, but what he has to say is of interest because this is the first time that he's testified in a legal case, which highlights the serious nature of this dispute....
tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
tim cook mark zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg Reportedly Told Staff Facebook Needs to 'Inflict Pain' on Apple Over Privacy Dispute

Saturday February 13, 2021 2:33 am PST by
Apple and Facebook have been in a very public spat over the course of the last few months as Apple dials up its pro-privacy stance. The two companies have long had tension, but more recently, Facebook is taking shots at an upcoming iOS and iPadOS feature that will require apps and data companies such as Facebook to ask for users' permission before tracking them across other sites and websites. ...
1400x 1

Tim Cook to Speak at 'Europe's Biggest' Upcoming Tech Event Between June 16 and 19

Wednesday June 2, 2021 4:05 am PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook will be one of the speakers at the upcoming "Viva Technology" conference, being held digitally and physically between June 16 and June 19, according to a tweet from the conference's official page (via iMore). Based out of Paris, France, the conference is an opportunity to break down "traditional barriers between grassroots innovators and global leaders" and is "Europe's...
facebook instargram updated att prompt 1

Facebook and Instagram Ask Users to Enable App Tracking in Order to Keep Services 'Free of Charge'

Sunday May 2, 2021 1:22 pm PDT by
As a way to convince users to enable tracking across other apps and websites, Facebook is deploying the tactic of telling users that they must enable tracking as part of the App Tracking Transparency framework in iOS 14.5 if they want to help keep Facebook and Instagram "free of charge." App Tracking Transparency or ATT is the newest privacy feature to come to iPhone and iPad devices as part ...
Apple vs Facebook feature

Facebook Says Impact of iOS 14.5's App Tracking Transparency Will Be 'Manageable'

Wednesday April 28, 2021 4:40 pm PDT by
Facebook today announced its earnings for the first calendar quarter of 2021, and during the call discussing the results, Facebook executives confirmed that Apple's App Tracking Transparency will have a "manageable" impact on Facebook's business starting in the second quarter. As highlighted by ZDNet, Facebook CFO Dave Wehner said that Facebook is expecting "increased ad targeting headwinds...
tim cook apple park

Sideloading Apps Would 'Break' the Security and Privacy of iPhone, Says Tim Cook

Monday April 5, 2021 4:32 am PDT by
In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times' Kara Swisher, on her podcast "Sway," Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about Apple's feud with Facebook, its stance on privacy, Apple's legal battle with Epic Games, and possible future Apple innovations such as Apple Glasses. Apple is in the midst of a heated public spat with Facebook over privacy, particularly over an upcoming feature on iOS that ...