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Maybe Only Tim Cook Can Fix Facebook's Privacy Problem

By The New York Times

It’s nowhere in his job description, but Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has recently taken a moonlight gig as Facebook’s privacy watchdogRead full story

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  • This is a really well reported story. Facebook distributed a product designed to harvest user data by improperly exploiting an AppStore feature designed to enable Apple’s largest enterprise customers to test products internally (bypassing the usual AppStore approval process).

  • I wrote in another comment to this story from a different news source. While I applaud Apple taking action to stand for privacy, there is a clear publicity stunt going on.

    Breaches of contract are usually dealt with by cease-and-desist letters and that might have prompted FB to take action. This type of action (unilateral suspension) is normally only applied to what is called "incurable breaches" - things that cannot be fixed, which FB could have by just turning off the Research app.

    So Apple

    I wrote in another comment to this story from a different news source. While I applaud Apple taking action to stand for privacy, there is a clear publicity stunt going on.

    Breaches of contract are usually dealt with by cease-and-desist letters and that might have prompted FB to take action. This type of action (unilateral suspension) is normally only applied to what is called "incurable breaches" - things that cannot be fixed, which FB could have by just turning off the Research app.

    So Apple, who is positioning themselves as a "services" company to compensate for stagnant hardware demand reaps the benefit of being seen as the champion privacy in direct opposition to a known violator...

  • This isn’t a PR stunt by any stretch of the imagination. The Facebook and Google business models are incompatible with Apple’s - and more and more of the world’s- and there’s just no way to paper over that any longer. I consider this a war over privacy and data.

  • seems like more of a PR play by tim cook to make apple seem like the good guy. ultimately apple and fb need each other desperately and apple isn’t exactly a saint.

  • Apple is joining a growing wave of companies who can use their business model to regulate according to their values. These competitive ‘tariffs’ are a trend. Last summer Unilever threatened to pull ad spend with Google and Facebook if they don’t ‘drain their swamp’ as their CMO said. But those doing the regulating better be above reproach.

  • Maybe Tim Cook should make a Facebook for Mac users only and then let's see what happens to this harvesting of data we provide to Them all. Good cop, bad cop is such a boring theory to feed to people. Privacy is long forgotten and there is nothing you can do about it unless u become a Buddhist monk or something. Wishful thinking ha?

  • Interesting perspective on potential future actions Apple could take against Facebook is response to their data/privacy practices. Roose explores the possibility of Apple removing core FBs consumer-facing apps from the App Store. I think this is unlikely to happen, but this is an interesting exploration. Worth reading if you’re following this issue.

  • If Apple cuts off all of it’s users from Facebook’s apps, it would definitely loose a lot users from the ages 10-20, temporarily at least, because this age group has been sensitized to privacy issues the least. The teenagers wouldn’t care if the cut off was for the greater good of privacy, they would rather be aghast by it and try to find an alternative so they can keep up their usual, almost addictive like, behavior.

    The biggest privacy issue they probably have encountered is a leaked photo of themselves

    If Apple cuts off all of it’s users from Facebook’s apps, it would definitely loose a lot users from the ages 10-20, temporarily at least, because this age group has been sensitized to privacy issues the least. The teenagers wouldn’t care if the cut off was for the greater good of privacy, they would rather be aghast by it and try to find an alternative so they can keep up their usual, almost addictive like, behavior.

    The biggest privacy issue they probably have encountered is a leaked photo of themselves, but that’s it.

    Most of my personal friends don’t care about sharing every single thing in their life with the rest of the world, because they believe as long as you don’t have to hide anything there is no reason to do so, or even at least be cautious about personal information.

  • It’s not PR or a stunt, it’s positioning what the brand stands for, for the public but, probably more importantly, for regulators. It’s making it very clear that Apple’s business is about products and services, not data. And it’s smart.

  • Somebody must press these privacy issues that affect all of us using the internet to learn, communicate & purchase goods.

    I applaud Tim Cook & Apple for demanding that rules & agreements be dealt with in good faith. If all the “big guys” play fairly & transparently, that should have a positive effect on the future safe use of public communication systems that are meant to allow all of us to have our fair-share of being enabled electronically to tell others about our own ‘truth’ as we each understand it.

  • Apple seeks to punish Facebook by removing the ability for its developers to "side-load" applications, bypassing the App Store. Yet, this is a standard option available to all users in the Android operating system. The fact that Apple prevents its users from doing this, and uses it as a way to control the behaviour of competitors, is arguably anti-competitive and harmful to innovation.

  • This a punchline, right?

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