Tim Cook wants Americans to be able to vote on their iPhones

Tim Cook, Apple CEO
Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the world premiere of Apple’s “The Morning Show” at David Geffen Hall on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in New York City.

Would you feel comfortable voting via iPhone?

Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that concept in a new interview with The New York Times, published just days after Cook joined a growing coalition of business leaders who criticized a restrictive new Georgia voting law.

“I would dream of that, because I think that’s where we live,” Cook said when Swisher asked if the tech would be the answer to some modern voting issues, like fraud. “We do our banking on phones. We have our health data on phones. We have more information on a phone about us than is in our houses. And so why not?”

America’s voting systems are notoriously low-tech, which stands in glaring contrast to modern systems of banking, commerce, and healthcare.

“It’s pretty arcane,” Cook said of America’s voting apparatus. “I think we’re probably all having the wrong conversation on voting rights. We should be talking about using technology.”

Read more: The 11 biggest hacks and breaches of the past decade that are still causing reverberating damage

Incorporating updated technology – like iPhones – in the voting process could expand the reach and accessibility of voting to more Americans, he argued.

Of the voting age population in the US, just shy of 67% voted in the 2020 presidential electionthe highest percentage of any election in over 100 years.

“How can we make it so simple that our voting participation gets to 100? Or it gets really close to 100. Maybe we get in the 90s or something,” Cook said.

Though voting through smartphone could expand accessibility for some voters, cybersecurity experts speaking to CBS News last November listed a number of ways it could also disenfranchise other voters: Security issues, the cost of iPhones, internet access, and voter identification were all among the main issues cited.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook have feuded for years over user privacy and antitrust concerns. Here’s where their rivalry began and everything that’s happened since.

Tim Cook Mark Zuckerberg
Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been adversaries for years.
  • They’ve traded barbs over how expensive Apple products are and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
  • Now, Facebook is fighting back against Apple’s upcoming privacy feature.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The long-standing feud between Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook appears to be raging on.

The two tech titans have been feuding since at least 2014, trading barbs over each other’s products and business models. But in recent months, their battle has escalated to public jabs, pointed ad campaigns, and even a possible legal dispute: The Information reported in January that Facebook is preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, alleging that Apple put a choke-hold on third-party app developers.

Here’s when the grudge began, and everything that’s happened since.

The feud between Zuckerberg and Cook became public in 2014, when Cook lambasted Facebook’s business model.

Tim Cook

In September 2014, Cook gave an in-depth interview with Charlie Rose that touched on a range of topics, including privacy.

During the interview — which took place in the weeks following the infamous leaks of multiple female celebrities’ nude photos stored on their iCloud accounts — Cook espoused Apple’s commitment to privacy while denouncing the business models of companies like Google and Facebook. 

“I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money,” Cook said. “And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried. And you should really understand what’s happening to that data.”  

Shortly after, Cook reiterated his stance in an open letter on Apple’s dedicated privacy site. 

“A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product,” Cook wrote. 

Cook’s comments rankled Zuckerberg, who called the claims “ridiculous” and blasted Apple products as being expensive.

mark zuckerberg 2010

In an interview with Time later that year, Zuckerberg was reportedly visibly irritated by Cook’s assertions. 

“A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers,” Zuckerberg told Time’s Lev Grossman. “I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!”

Their squabble came to a head following the Cambridge Analytica scandal when Cook criticized Facebook’s actions.

Tim Cook

In 2018, a whistleblower revealed that consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvested user data without consent from 50 million users. 

During an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes in the months following, Cook was asked what he would do if he was in Zuckerberg’s shoes

Cook responded: “What would I do? I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Cook said that Facebook should have regulated itself when it came to user data, but that “I think we’re beyond that here.” He also doubled down on his stance that Facebook considers its users its product. 

“The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product,” Cook said. “We’ve elected not to do that.”

Zuckerberg hit back, calling Cook’s comments “extremely glib.”

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

“You know, I find that argument, that if you’re not paying that somehow we can’t care about you, to be extremely glib. And not at all aligned with the truth,” Zuckerberg said during an interview on The Ezra Klein Show podcast.

He refuted the idea that Facebook isn’t focused on serving people and once again criticized the premium Apple places on its products. 

“I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm Syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you,” he said. “Because that sounds ridiculous to me.”

Privately, Zuckerberg was reportedly outraged by Cook’s remarks – so much so that he ordered his employees to switch to Android devices.

Mark Zuckerberg security phone

In November 2018, The New York Times published a blockbuster report detailing the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Times reported that Cook’s comments had “infuriated” Zuckerberg, who ordered employees on his management team who used iPhones to switch to Android. 

Soon after the report published, Facebook wrote a blog post refuting some of the reporting by The Times — but not the Zuckerberg-Cook feud. 

“Tim Cook has consistently criticized our business model and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees. So there’s been no need to employ anyone else to do this for us,” Facebook wrote. “And we’ve long encouraged our employees and executives to use Android because it is the most popular operating system in the world.”

In August 2020, Zuckerberg jumped in the fray as Apple faced criticism over its App Store policies.

mark zuckerberg

During a company-wide meeting, Zuckerberg openly criticized Apple, saying it has a “unique stranglehold as a gatekeeper on what gets on phones,” according to a report from BuzzFeed News

Zuckerberg also said that the App Store blocks innovation and competition and “allows Apple to charge monopoly rents,” BuzzFeed reported. 

Apple has been facing antitrust scrutiny from Congress and has been strongly criticized by developers — most notably “Fortnite” creator Epic Games — for the 30% fee it takes from App Store purchases. Apple recently blocked an update to Facebook’s iOS app that would have informed users about the fee Apple charges.

Apple’s latest software update has been angering Facebook since it was announced, as Facebook says the new privacy features could destroy part of its business.

WWDC 2020

In the latest version if Apple’s smartphone operating system, iOS, iPhone app developers will need to ask permission from users in order to collect and track their data. While this will affect any company who makes iOS apps, it will have a direct impact on Facebook’s advertising business: It uses data tracking to dictate which ads are served to users. 

In an August blog post, Facebook said it may be forced to shut down Audience Network for iOS, a tool that personalizes ads in third-party apps. 

“This is not a change we want to make, but unfortunately Apple’s updates to iOS 14 have forced this decision,” Facebook said. 

The complaints from Facebook and other developers led Apple to delay the new privacy tools until next year, saying it wanted to “give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes.”

Most recently, Facebook escalated the feud to a full-page ad in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

In the new ads, Facebook is arguing that the changes will hurt small businesses who advertise on Facebook’s platform.

“Without personalized ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend,” the ad reads, which was posted by Twitter user Dave Stangis. 

Apple hit back, telling Business Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton that it was “standing up for our users.” 

“Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not,” an Apple spokesperson said.

Facebook said it would help Epic Games, the company behind “Fortnite,” in its legal battle with Apple.

tim cook fortnite epic games apple
A parody of Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, which appeared in a video streamed in “Fortnite.”

Epic Games is heading to trial with Apple next year over its suit claiming that Apple’s engages in anti-competitive behavior.

While Facebook isn’t joining the lawsuit, it is planning to help Epic with discovery for the trial. 

And Facebook is reportedly working on a lawsuit of its own that alleges Apple has abused its power in the app marketplace.

mark zuckerberg facebook
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Washington DC on Oct. 23, 2019.

According to a report from The Information, Facebook is preparing a lawsuit claiming that Apple has forced app developers to follow a different set of rules than Apple-made apps, such as requiring developers to use an in-app payments system, of which Apple takes a cut.  

Facebook has reportedly been working on the case for several months and has considered inviting other companies to join the suit. 

Zuckerberg also lashed out at Apple during Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings call, saying the company frequently interferes with how Facebook’s apps work.

Mark Zuckerberg

When discussing Facebook’s suite of messaging apps during the conference call, Zuckerberg made a clear dig at Apple, saying the iPhone-maker made “misleading” privacy claims. 

“Now Apple recently released so-called nutrition labels, which focused largely on metadata that apps collect rather than the privacy and security of people’s actual messages, but iMessage stores non-end-to-end encrypted backups of your messages by default unless you disable iCloud,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg went on to describe Apple as “one of our biggest competitors” and said that because Apple is increasingly relying on services to fuel its business, it “has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own.”

“This impacts the growth of millions of businesses around the world,” he added.

But Cook hasn’t backed down from his view that Facebook’s business model of harvesting user data and selling it to advertisers is harmful to consumers.

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

During a speech at the European Computers, Privacy and Data Protection Conference, Cook discussed business models that prioritize user engagement and rely on user data to make money. Though he didn’t mention Facebook by name, Cook made several references that alluded to the platform.

“At a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement — the longer the better — and all with the goal of collecting as much data as possible,” Cook said.

Facebook has launched another ad campaign aimed at proving the need for personalized advertising amid its ongoing battle with Apple.

Mark Zuckerberg

The initiative, titled “Good Ideas Deserve to be Found,” makes the case that personalized ads help Facebook users discover small businesses, particularly during the pandemic. 

“Every business starts with an idea, and being able to share that idea through personalized ads is a game changer for small businesses,” Facebook said in a blog post announcing the theme. “Limiting the use of personalized ads would take away a vital growth engine for businesses.”

The new campaign is Facebook’s latest effort to highlight the value of personalized ads ahead of Apple’s privacy crackdown — the new feature is expected to roll out this spring, and Facebook warned during its most recent earnings that it could begin affecting its business as early as the first quarter of 2021.

Cook called Facebook’s objections to the privacy update “flimsy arguments” during an interview with The New York Times.

Tim Cook

During a podcast interview with The Times’ Kara Swisher, Cook said that he believes society is in a privacy crisis and that he’s been “shocked” that there’s been pushback to the new feature to this degree. 

“We know these things are flimsy arguments,” Cook told The Times. “I think that you can do digital advertising and make money from digital advertising without tracking people when they don’t know they’re being tracked.”

Cook also said he doesn’t view Facebook as a competitor, contrary to what Zuckerberg has said.

“Oh, I think that we compete in some things,” Cook said. “But no, if I may ask who our biggest competitor are, they would not be listed. We’re not in the social networking business.”

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Tim Cook says Apple’s strategy for dealing with Biden will be the same as dealing with Trump

Cook and Trump
US President Donald Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook speak to the press during a tour of the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility where Apple’s Mac Pros are assembled in Austin, Texas, on November 20, 2019.

  • Tim Cook said that Apple’s political strategy remains unchanged under the Biden administration.
  • He explained in a new interview that the company focuses on policy over politics.
  • Trump and Cook have had a well-publicized relationship, with Trump exempting Apple from some tariffs.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a podcast interview with journalist Kara Swisher that Apple employs much the same political strategy across both the Trump and Biden administrations.

“Our focus is not on the politics of it. It’s on the policy,” he said on the latest episode of the “Sway” podcast released Monday.

“That’s what we did during President Trump’s administration,” he added. “That’s what we’ll be doing during President Biden’s administration.”

Cook made the remarks after Swisher asked him about his relationship with Trump, who has praised Cook in the past and said he is the only tech executive who called him directly. Trump also once called him “Tim Apple” – Cook said that he “leaned into it” and changed his Twitter name to Tim Apple for a time.

Cook also chose to not correct Trump in November of 2019, when Trump touted that a new Apple plant would be opening in Texas. He and Cook had toured a facility in Austin, and Trump tweeted about the factory, taking responsibility for opening it. However, the factory had been making Apple products since 2012.

The relationship between Cook and Trump made headlines during 2019’s trade war with China, in which Cook asked Trump to exclude some Apple products from stricter tariffs on Chinese imports. Following Cook’s lobbying and Trump promising to review whether the company should be exempt, Trump decided in December of 2019 that imports including the iPhone and MacBook would not be subject to the a 15% tariff.

After the attempted insurrection at the US Capitol in January, Cook said that Trump should be held accountable for his role in inciting violence.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he doesn’t expect to be running the company a decade from now

Tim Cook Apple Park speech
Apple CEO Tim Cook in January.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook has been running the company for just shy of 10 years.
  • In another 10 years, though, Cook expects to have stepped down from his role.
  • In a new interview, Cook said he didn’t know what’s next after Apple.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Tim Cook became the CEO of Apple just shy of 10 years ago, following the death of cofounder Steve Jobs.

And in another 10 years, Cook doesn’t expect to still be at the company, he said in a new interview with The New York Times.

“Ten more years? Probably not,” Cook said. “I can tell you that I feel great right now. And the date’s not in sight. But 10 more years is a long time, and probably not 10 more years.”

Cook has been with Apple for over 20 years. He joined in the late ’90s and helped it to rethink operations. When Jobs died in 2011, Cook took over executive duties and became the new face of the company.

Since then, Cook has unveiled new iPhones, Apple Watches, and other products.

tim cook jony ive iphones
Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, and Cook inspect the iPhone XR during an event on September 12, 2018, in Cupertino, California.

He oversaw Apple’s incredible rise in value: Its market cap is just over $2 trillion. He’s also taken on the role of government liaison and appeared multiple times with President Donald Trump.

As for what he’ll do after Apple, Cook appeared to be just as in the dark as everyone else.

“I don’t have a clue,” he said in the Times interview, “because I love this company so much that it’s hard to imagine my life without it.”

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a nonwork device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tim Cook condemned Georgia’s new election law, the latest CEO speaking out on voter-suppression concerns

Tim Cook Apple Park speech
Tim Cook gave a speech from the Apple Park in California.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook came out against Georgia’s restrictive new voting law on Thursday.
  • “It ought to be easier than ever for every eligible citizen to exercise their right to vote,” he said.
  • He is the latest CEO to speak out on voter-suppression concerns.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has slammed Georgia’s controversial new election law, joining the ranks of other CEOs who have done the same.

The Republican-backed law, known as SB 202, will reform many aspects of elections and voting in Georgia and critics say that it suppresses the right to vote.

“The right to vote is fundamental in a democracy. American history is the story of expanding the right to vote to all citizens, and Black people, in particular, have had to march, struggle and even give their lives for more than a century to defend that right,” Cook told Axios in a statement published Thursday.

“Apple believes that, thanks in part to the power of technology, it ought to be easier than ever for every eligible citizen to exercise their right to vote,” he added.

“We support efforts to ensure that our democracy’s future is more hopeful and inclusive than its past.”

Other business leaders who have spoken out against the law include Delta CEO Ed Bastian, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey, and JP Morgan chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Delta and Coca-Cola are both headquartered in Georgia.

Read more: GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger on recognizing the QAnon threat and not fearing a GOP primary challenger for voting to impeach Trump

More than 70 Black executives have signed a letter, calling on companies across the US to publicly denounce the new laws as suppressing voters, particularly the state’s Black voters, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Civil-rights group and democratic officials have slammed the law, saying it suppresses voters, particularly those who are Black, and have also called on firms in the state to also speak out about it.

President Joe Biden described the new law as “a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience,” and likened it to “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple CEO Tim Cook is among the high-profile executives that will testify in the upcoming ‘Fortnite’ court case

Tim Cook
Tim Cook.

  • Apple’s Tim Cook, and Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney, will testify in the Fortnite case.
  • It marks the latest in a series of lawsuits Epic Games has filed against Apple.
  • The court case is tentatively scheduled to start on May 3.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Apple Inc and Epic Games have called their chief executive officers to testify as part of the upcoming “Fortnite” App Store trial, court documents show.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, SVP Craig Federighi, and former marketing chief and present App Store vice-president, Matt Fischer are on the list of tentative witnesses to testify live and face-to-face in the courtroom, among others.

Epic Games submitted its founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, its store manager, Steve Allison, and Thomas Ko, chief of online business strategy, as its witnesses for the trial.

“The chorus of developers speaking out against Apple and their anticompetitive practices has become louder,” Epic Games said, according to Reuters.

Apple responded in a statement to Bloomberg, saying they feel “confident the case will prove that Epic purposefully breached its agreement solely to increase its revenues.”

The fight began after Epic Games circumvented rules Apple and Google have in place over in-app payments made through their App Stores. Developers are obliged to pay Apple and Google a 30% commission on any payments that are made inside their apps. Epic Games claimed this was anti-competitive.

Epic Games then implemented its own payment system inside “Fortnite,” which led to it being kicked off Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, as Insider previously reported.

The Apple court case is provisionally due to start on May 3, with Cook due to give a 7-hour deposition.

Apple says its top executives “look forward to sharing with the court the very positive impact “the App Store has had on innovation, economies across the world and the customer experience over the last 12 years,” as reported by The Verge.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple will no longer produce the iMac Pro as the company reportedly works on innovative new tech, like foldable iPhones and virtual reality gear

iMac Pro
Apple will discontinue its iMac Pro.

Apple will discontinue the iMac Pro after current supplies runs out.

The tech giant will stop making new iMac Pros after inventory runs out, Apple told CNN Business. The $4,999 model comes with a 10, 14, and 18 core processors, Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.5GHz, and Retina 5K display.

Apple released the iMac Pro, which it called the “fastest and most powerful Mac ever,” in December 2017.

Apple’s announcement comes when the tech behemoth zeros in on new innovation. The company is reportedly working on an autonomous electric car, a foldable phone, and smart glasses.

Jony Ive, Apple’s visionary design guru credited with devising the iMac and iPhone, left the firm in 2019 to form an independent design company. Ive’s exit, along with senior vice president of engineering Dan Riccio’s new assignment, could lead the way for fresh leadership to redefine the future of Apple products, Insider’s Lisa Eadicicco reported.

Read more: Inside Apple’s ambitious next decade, where it could redefine consumer tech with a VR headset, foldable iPhone, and even an Apple Car

Apple reported a record $111 billion in revenue in its fiscal first-quarter earnings, fueled by a successful launch of 5G iPhones and a demand for new hardware as employees worked from home during the pandemic. Sales of iPhones stayed constant even as the company briefly closed stores last year.

The iMac has seen steadily declining sales over the last two decades, accounting for a tenth of Apple’s total revenue as of 2018, down from 86.2% of total revenue back in 2000, per Statista.

Apple updated 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs in 2019 with more powerful processors and faster graphics. The update allowed consumers to purchase six-core and eight-core configurations in less expensive iMacs instead of purchasing the $4,999 iMac Pro.

Apple did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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Facebook is making the case that small businesses rely on personalized ads ahead of a major Apple software update that could devastate part of Facebook’s ads business

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook launched a new campaign that makes the case that small businesses rely on personalized ads.
  • The initiative comes ahead of Apple’s privacy crackdown, which rolls out this spring.
  • Facebook has been warring with Apple over the update, which could hurt Facebook’s business.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Facebook is launching a new campaign aimed at proving the need for personalized advertising amid an ongoing battle with Apple. 

The initiative, titled “Good Ideas Deserve to be Found,” makes the case that personalized ads help Facebook users discover small businesses, particularly during the pandemic. A video for the campaign features a woman with a yoga mat discovering goat yoga classes on Facebook, and a lifestyle brand rooted in African traditions advertising on Instagram. 

“Every business starts with an idea, and being able to share that idea through personalized ads is a game changer for small businesses,” Facebook said in a blog post announcing the theme. “Limiting the use of personalized ads would take away a vital growth engine for businesses.”

The new campaign is Facebook’s latest effort to highlight the value of personalized ads ahead of Apple’s privacy crackdown. When Apple unveiled its latest software update last year, it announced a new feature that would allow users opt out of being tracked for advertising purposes. After outcry from app developers, Apple said it would delay the advertising component of the update until 2021 in order to give developers more time to make the necessary changes. 

The new feature has been angering Facebook since it was announced – Facebook says it could destroy part of its business known as Audience Network, a tool that personalizes ads in third-party apps. Facebook said the new feature could cut Audience Network revenues by up to 50% and could lead the company to shut down Audience Network for iOS. 

Facebook warned during its most recent earnings that the changes, which are expected to roll out this spring, could affect Facebook’s business as early as the first quarter of 2021.

Facebook has used public campaigns to denounce the changes and champion small businesses once before. Last December, Facebook took out full-page ads in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal that read “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.”

“Without personalized ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend,” the ad read. 

Apple hit back, telling Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton that it was standing up for its users by creating the new privacy features. 

“Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites – and they should have the choice to allow that or not,” an Apple spokesperson said at the time. 

The personalized ads issue adds a new layer to an ongoing war between Facebook and Apple and their CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook. The feud dates back to at least 2014, when Cook publicly lambasted Facebook’s business model. In an open letter about privacy at Apple, Cook wrote that “when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.” He later said during an interview that companies like Google and Facebook were making money by “collecting gobs of personal data.”

And following Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, Cook publicly skewered Zuckerberg, saying during an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that he would never be in Zuckerberg’s shoes. 

For his part, Zuckerberg has criticized Apple’s products as being too expensive, later going as far as to insist his employees use Android devices. Facebook has also essentially confirmed the quarrel between the two CEOs: Following a New York Times report in 2018, Facebook said in a statement that “Tim Cook has consistently criticized our business model and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees.” 

Now, Facebook is preparing a lawsuit against Apple, according to a January report from The Information. The suit will claim that Apple has forced app developers to follow a different set of rules than Apple-made apps, such as requiring developers to use an in-app payments system, of which Apple takes a cut.  

Facebook has reportedly been working on the case for several months and has considered inviting other companies to join the suit. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

What happened last week? The House held its GameStop hearing, Texans lost power, NASA’s Mars Rover landed, and Ted Cruz went to Cancun.

Perseverance Rover
NASA’s Perseverance rover.

What happened last week?

NASA’s Perseverance rover landed safely on Mars last week. Mission control hosted a live broadcast during the landing. The rover started beaming back photos, and, in the coming days, it plans to launch a small helicopter to study the Red Planet. You can read all about the biggest space stories of the year here

Here’s what else happened last week.

Robinhood and Reddit went (virtually) to Washington

Keith Gill Reddit Wall Street Bets Deep Effing Value Washington.JPG
Keith Gill testifies during a House subcommittee virtual hearing.

The House Committee on Financial Services last week held its hearing on the GameStop saga, which included an appearance from investor Keith Gill, a.k.a. Roaring Kitty and u/DeepFuckingValue.

Gill told the committee: “I am not a cat. I am not an institutional investor. Nor am I a hedge fund.”

Robinhood CEO, Vlad Tenev, also appeared. He apologized to the family of a 20-year-old trader who died by suicide after the Robinhood app showed a negative balance of about $730,000. 

Texans lost power during a winter storm

texas freeze
Icicles hang off the State Highway 195 sign in Killeen, Texas.

A winter storm hit Texas, cutting power to millions, and causing as much as $50 billion in damage. The storm brought such unusual cold that it confused weather satellites

As the storm hit, António Guterres, UN secretary-general, said it was clear climate change was making storms worse.

“If you look at hurricanes, if you look at storms, but also if you look at heat waves and cold waves, they are becoming more extreme because of climate change,” Guterres said.

Senator Ted Cruz went to Mexico

cruz airport police
Sen. Ted Cruz checking into Cancun International Airport on Thursday.

As a winter storm knocked out power for millions of Texans, senator Ted Cruz boarded a plane headed to Cancun, the Mexican resort town.

The forecast called for low 80s and sun, according to The Weather Channel. But Cruz headed back to Texas a day after arriving, amid mounting criticism about the timing of his trip. 

“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends,” Cruz said on Thursday in a statement.

Here’s a timeline of how senator political rivals Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reacted to the disaster. 

ICYMI

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Tim Cook.

Although recent reports said Apple held brief talks with Nissan about developing electric cars together, Nissan repeatedly denied it had been in talks with the company.

The week before last, South Korean manufacturer Hyundai denied being in talks with Apple over the vehicle.

Here’s what happened the week before last. See you next week. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook keep sniping at each other over antitrust concerns and user privacy. Now, their years-long feud may be coming to a head as Facebook reportedly preps a lawsuit against Apple.

Tim Cook Mark Zuckerberg
Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been adversaries for years.
  • They’ve traded barbs over how expensive Apple products are and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 
  • Now, Facebook is reportedly preparing to sue Apple over claims it abused its market power.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The long-standing feud between Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook appears to be raging on.

The Information reported this week that Facebook is preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, alleging that Apple put a choke-hold on third-party app developers.

While a legal battle between two of the biggest tech companies on the planet is noteworthy, it’s hardly the first time Facebook and Apple have been at odds. Cook and Zuckerberg have been feuding since at least 2014, trading barbs over each other’s products and business models.

Here’s when their grudge began, and everything that’s happened since. 

The feud between Zuckerberg and Cook became public in 2014, when Cook lambasted Facebook’s business model.

Tim Cook

In September 2014, Cook gave an in-depth interview with Charlie Rose that touched on a range of topics, including privacy.

During the interview — which took place in the weeks following the infamous leaks of multiple female celebrities’ nude photos stored on their iCloud accounts — Cook espoused Apple’s commitment to privacy while denouncing the business models of companies like Google and Facebook. 

“I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money,” Cook said. “And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried. And you should really understand what’s happening to that data.”  

Shortly after, Cook reiterated his stance in an open letter on Apple’s dedicated privacy site. 

“A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product,” Cook wrote. 

Cook’s comments rankled Zuckerberg, who called the claims “ridiculous” and blasted Apple products as being expensive.

mark zuckerberg 2010

In an interview with Time later that year, Zuckerberg was reportedly visibly irritated by Cook’s assertions. 

“A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers,” Zuckerberg told Time’s Lev Grossman. “I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!”

Their squabble came to a head following the Cambridge Analytica scandal when Cook criticized Facebook’s actions.

Tim Cook

In 2018, a whistleblower revealed that consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvested user data without consent from 50 million users. 

During an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes in the months following, Cook was asked what he would do if he was in Zuckerberg’s shoes

Cook responded: “What would I do? I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Cook said that Facebook should have regulated itself when it came to user data, but that “I think we’re beyond that here.” He also doubled down on his stance that Facebook considers its users its product. 

“The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product,” Cook said. “We’ve elected not to do that.”

Zuckerberg hit back, calling Cook’s comments “extremely glib.”

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

“You know, I find that argument, that if you’re not paying that somehow we can’t care about you, to be extremely glib. And not at all aligned with the truth,” Zuckerberg said during an interview on The Ezra Klein Show podcast.

He refuted the idea that Facebook isn’t focused on serving people and once again criticized the premium Apple places on its products. 

“I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm Syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you,” he said. “Because that sounds ridiculous to me.”

Privately, Zuckerberg was reportedly outraged by Cook’s remarks – so much so that he ordered his employees to switch to Android devices.

Mark Zuckerberg security phone

In November 2018, The New York Times published a blockbuster report detailing the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Times reported that Cook’s comments had “infuriated” Zuckerberg, who ordered employees on his management team who used iPhones to switch to Android. 

Soon after the report published, Facebook wrote a blog post refuting some of the reporting by The Times — but not the Zuckerberg-Cook feud. 

“Tim Cook has consistently criticized our business model and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees. So there’s been no need to employ anyone else to do this for us,” Facebook wrote. “And we’ve long encouraged our employees and executives to use Android because it is the most popular operating system in the world.”

In August 2020, Zuckerberg jumped in the fray as Apple faced criticism over its App Store policies.

mark zuckerberg

During a company-wide meeting, Zuckerberg openly criticized Apple, saying it has a “unique stranglehold as a gatekeeper on what gets on phones,” according to a report from BuzzFeed News

Zuckerberg also said that the App Store blocks innovation and competition and “allows Apple to charge monopoly rents,” BuzzFeed reported. 

Apple has been facing antitrust scrutiny from Congress and has been strongly criticized by developers — most notably “Fortnite” creator Epic Games — for the 30% fee it takes from App Store purchases. Apple recently blocked an update to Facebook’s iOS app that would have informed users about the fee Apple charges.

Apple’s latest software update has been angering Facebook since it was announced, as Facebook says the new privacy features could destroy part of its business.

WWDC 2020

In the latest version if Apple’s smartphone operating system, iOS, iPhone app developers will need to ask permission from users in order to collect and track their data. While this will affect any company who makes iOS apps, it will have a direct impact on Facebook’s advertising business: It uses data tracking to dictate which ads are served to users. 

In an August blog post, Facebook said it may be forced to shut down Audience Network for iOS, a tool that personalizes ads in third-party apps. 

“This is not a change we want to make, but unfortunately Apple’s updates to iOS 14 have forced this decision,” Facebook said. 

The complaints from Facebook and other developers led Apple to delay the new privacy tools until next year, saying it wanted to “give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes.”

Most recently, Facebook escalated the feud to a full-page ad in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

In the new ads, Facebook is arguing that the changes will hurt small businesses who advertise on Facebook’s platform.

“Without personalized ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend,” the ad reads, which was posted by Twitter user Dave Stangis. 

Apple hit back, telling Business Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton that it was “standing up for our users.” 

“Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not,” an Apple spokesperson said.

Facebook said it would help Epic Games, the company behind “Fortnite,” in its legal battle with Apple.

tim cook fortnite epic games apple
A parody of Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, which appeared in a video streamed in “Fortnite.”

Epic Games is heading to trial with Apple next year over its suit claiming that Apple’s engages in anti-competitive behavior.

While Facebook isn’t joining the lawsuit, it is planning to help Epic with discovery for the trial. 

And Facebook is reportedly working on a lawsuit of its own that alleges Apple has abused its power in the app marketplace.

mark zuckerberg facebook
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Washington DC on Oct. 23, 2019.

According to a report from The Information, Facebook is preparing a lawsuit claiming that Apple has forced app developers to follow a different set of rules than Apple-made apps, such as requiring developers to use an in-app payments system, of which Apple takes a cut.  

Facebook has reportedly been working on the case for several months and has considered inviting other companies to join the suit. 

Zuckerberg also lashed out at Apple during Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings call, saying the company frequently interferes with how Facebook’s apps work.

Mark Zuckerberg

When discussing Facebook’s suite of messaging apps during the conference call, Zuckerberg made a clear dig at Apple, saying the iPhone-maker made “misleading” privacy claims. 

“Now Apple recently released so-called nutrition labels, which focused largely on metadata that apps collect rather than the privacy and security of people’s actual messages, but iMessage stores non-end-to-end encrypted backups of your messages by default unless you disable iCloud,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg went on to describe Apple as “one of our biggest competitors” and said that because Apple is increasingly relying on services to fuel its business, it “has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own.”

“This impacts the growth of millions of businesses around the world,” he added.

But Cook hasn’t backed down from his view that Facebook’s business model of harvesting user data and selling it to advertisers is harmful to consumers.

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

During a speech at the European Computers, Privacy and Data Protection Conference, Cook discussed business models that prioritize user engagement and rely on user data to make money. Though he didn’t mention Facebook by name, Cook made several references that alluded to the platform.

“At a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement — the longer the better — and all with the goal of collecting as much data as possible,” Cook said.

Read the original article on Business Insider