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Tim Cook slams Facebook’s privacy standards

Tim Cook slams Facebook’s privacy standards

Facebook has shown that it needs government regulation, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Wednesday, slamming the social network for its privacy standards.

“I do think it’s time that a set of people think intensely about what can be done,” Cook said in a town-hall-style interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

Asked what he would do if he was in the same position as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Cook said that Apple would never be in such a sticky situation.

Apple views privacy as a “human right” and a “civil liberty,” Cook said.

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

The interview will air on MSNBC on April 6.

Cook’s comments were another public blow for Facebook, which has battled for 10 days revelations that it permitted private data on 50 million users to fall into the hands of a data firm, Cambridge Analytica, which is linked to the Donald Trump campaign.

On Wednesday, Facebook said it would finally simplify the notoriously confusing maze of privacy settings on its site.

The embattled social network — which previously sent users to more than a dozen different pages when they wanted to adjust the amount of information they shared or see what third-party apps had access to their information — announced plans to consolidate those settings onto one central page.

The privacy scandal is among the worst encountered by Facebook in its 14-year history.

In a Wednesday blog post, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan insisted that the privacy page change has “been in the works for some time.”

Separately, Facebook has reportedly delayed indefinitely plans to unveil its own smart speaker as it grapples with the scandal over its mishandling of user data.

The smart speaker, which will operate similarly to the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, was expected to be introduced in May, according to Bloomberg.

Shares of Facebook nonetheless gained slightly — by 81 cents — Wednesday, to $153.03.

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