Apple CEO on Facebook Data Leak: ‘I Wouldn’t Be in This Situation’

Tim Cook says iPhone and MacBook makers choose not to use customer data as a revenue source

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as a "proud" gay man
Getty Images

Tell us how you really feel, Tim Cook.

When asked by Recode’s Kara Swisher on Wednesday what he’d do if he were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg right now, in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica data leak, Apple’s CEO simply couldn’t imagine it. “I wouldn’t be in this situation,” said Cook.

The reason, according to the 57-year-old exec, is because Apple’s business is fundamentally different from the ad-driven juggernaut built by the social network. “The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product,” added Cook. “We’ve elected not to do that.”

Cook didn’t stop there, either. He didn’t seem to be a fan of Amazon’s very-public search for its “HQ 2” location — with cities falling over themselves trying to woo the tech giant. (Atlanta is already prepping its “Jeff Bezos Parkway, in honor of Amazon’s founder and CEO, as Business Insider recently pointed out.) Apple wouldn’t pull a similar stunt, said Cook. “We’re not doing the beauty contest,” Cook told Swisher. “That’s not Apple.”

Of course, Apple isn’t without sin. The factories where many iPhone parts are manufactured in China have become hotbeds of suicide.

The full interview with Swisher and Chris Hayes will be broadcast on MNBC at 8:00 pm ET on Friday, April 6.