Zuckerberg hits back at Cook, insists the customer is ‘the product that’s being bought and sold’

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has bitten back at what some saw as a closeted attack on the company by Apple boss Tim Cook.

In September Cook said: 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.”

He also hit out at companies, like Facebook, who make money by selling the personal details of their users to commercial partners.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers,” he said. We don’t ‘monetize’ the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.”

Now in an interview with Time, Zuckerberg has insisted that treating users as a commercial commodity is perfectly viable.

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,” he argued. 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.

You’re the product that’s being bought and sold. Our mission is to connect every person in the world. You don’t do that by having a service people pay for.”

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