Apple's Cook Has Pointed Advice for Facebook's Zuckerberg

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Apple CEO Tim Cook had some tough words for Facebook as it deals with a massive data scandal.

Cook told Swisher that Apple could theoretically "make a ton of money if we monetised our customer, if our customer was our product. We've elected not to do that". We're not going to traffic in your personal life... Apple has policies of what is and isn't allowed there, and so Hayes and Swisher pressed him on whether Facebook's privacy issues might lead Apple to do something with that power. Cook took aim at Facebook's business model and approach to privacy in the discussion.

"This is not something that we just started last week when we saw something happening", Cook said. "However, I think we're beyond that here", Cook said.

When asked what he would do if he was in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg's situation, Cook simply said he "wouldn't be in this situation" to begin with. Under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in May, companies will have to clearly inform users of the data they're collecting and how it will be used.

That is perhaps getting ahead of things, though Facebook is under investigation for its privacy snafu, so anything is possible.

And on Tuesday it was reported by CNN that he was willing to front the US Congress but had spurned requests to appear before members of parliament in the UK.

Apple may require Facebook to make its data harvesting intentions clearer to users in the App Store - this could be a way to inform people in a more obvious way about what they are actually agreeing to.

He was then asked what he'd do if he were Mark Zuckerberg. "I wouldn't be in this situation", he replied, hinting that Zuckerberg had made mistakes.

Playboy has joined the likes of Will Ferrell, Cher and Elon Musk in opting to remove its presence from Facebook.

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.

Cook also encouraged companies like Facebook and Google to take action on their own to limit their data reliance, though noted it might be too little, too late.