Religions say, “Do what I tell you or you’ll suffer the fires of damnation!” Or, something like, “Follow this code of rules in this life and you won’t be a cockroach in the next life.” What about business executives? Can they strike the same stupidly obfuscating arguments against opponents?
Apple CEO Tim Cook says your privacy, therefore, information about you, is a right and should be protected by law. Cook:
Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies… Rogue actors and even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false. This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy.
That was an Apple finger pointed at Facebook and Google. What does Cook think of privacy?
To mix metaphors, Cook drew a battle line in the sand.
Privacy in itself has become a crisis. It’s of that proportion — a crisis… You are not our product. Our products are iPhones and iPads. We treasure your data. We wanna help you keep it private and keep it safe.
Now, let’s understand the argument. Apple collects some data from customers but does not use that information in the same way as Facebook or Google.
How did Facebook respond? Executive Nick Clegg sidestepped the argument and pointed a finger at Apple.
Facebook is free — it’s for everyone. Some other big tech companies make their money by selling expensive hardware or subscription services, or in some cases both, to consumers in developed, wealthier economies. They are an exclusive club, available only to aspirant consumers with the means to buy high-value hardware and services.
Clegg didn’t say Apple, but that was the target.
What’s the problem? Two separate arguments, both based upon a factual perspective, but Facebook’s response is aimed at Apple’s believability; the trust the company uses to differentiate itself from other hardware makers, and other technology giants.
Apple’s believability problem is inspired by off topic attacks from the likes of Facebook, which makes no mention of its own privacy sins, but is willing to attack an attacker with true information, falsely aimed.