Apple CEO Tim Cook hit out at tech companies that claim more customer data leads to superior products, saying that’s a “bunch of bunk.”
In an exclusive interview with VICE News Tonight that aired Tuesday, Cook did not name any names but appeared to admonish the likes of advertising giants Facebook and Google, which rely on data sharing with third parties.
“The narrative that some companies will try to get you to believe is: ‘I’ve got to take all of your data to make my service better.’ Well, don’t believe them,” Cook told VICE.
“Whoever’s telling you that, it’s a bunch of bunk,” he added.
Facebook and Google, meanwhile, have come under fire over their treatment of customer data and the knock on effects for democratic society. Most notable is Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and the potential implications that had for the 2016 U.S. election.
Some argue that Apple’s more conservative approach is damaging to the development of core products like Siri, especially in the face of fierce competition from Amazon’s Alexa. But Cook reiterated to VICE the company’s “collect as little data as possible” stance, saying he considers privacy “one of the most important issues of the 21st century.”
The tech CEO added that he is not typically a “pro-regulation kind of person,” but he would be willing to work with lawmakers to educate them and ensure that tech companies create products that are “great for society.”
“I think some level of government regulation is important to come out on that,” Cook told VICE.