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Tim Cook blasts Facebook over data privacy

Tim Cook blasts Facebook over data privacy

Apple chief executive Tim Cook slammed Facebook over its data privacy practices on Wednesday, adding to the growing criticism of the social media platform.

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“We could make a ton of money if we monetized our customers. If our customers were our product,” Cook said in an interview with Recode and MSNBC that will air on April 6.  

“We care about the user experience. And we’re not going to traffic in your personal life. I think it’s an invasion of privacy. I think it’s — privacy to us is a human right. It’s a civil liberty,” he added.

The Apple CEO said he believes the government should step in and set rules for Facebook.

“I think the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation. However, I think we’re beyond that here,” he said.

Cook was also asked what he would do if he were Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergLou Dobbs goes after Lindsey Graham: 'I don't know why anyone' would vote for him  Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Hillicon Valley: Five takeaways on new election interference from Iran, Russia | Schumer says briefing on Iranian election interference didn't convince him effort was meant to hurt Trump | Republicans on Senate panel subpoena Facebook, Twitter CEOs | MORE.

“What would I do [if I were Zuckerberg]? I wouldn’t be in this situation,” Cook said.

The Apple CEO’s criticism of Facebook follows the revelation that a British research firm with links to the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, improperly obtained data from 50 million Facebook users.

The incident has sparked criticism over Facebook's data practices. Lawmakers have also floated tougher rules on the company and two Congressional committees have formally invited the Facebook CEO to testify. Zuckerberg has reportedly decided to appear before lawmakers.

Cook's comments in the interview are not the first time he has weighed in on the Facebook data controversy.

Last week, Cook called for more data privacy regulations. And in 2015, he warned consumers that Facebook and Google are “gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it.”