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Apple CEO Tim Cook rails against 'purveyors of fake news' as Facebook feud rages on

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Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley joins Kristin Myers to break down comments from Apple CEO Tim Cook, as he slams social media for allowing the spread of misinformation.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: We have Yahoo Finance's "techxpert" Dan Howley here with a story on Apple's Tim Cook and some of Tim Cook's very pointed criticisms of social media, particularly Facebook. Hey, Dan.

DAN HOWLEY: Hey, how's it going? That's right. Apple basically announced the other day that they're going to start launching what's called the App Tracking Transparency feature in iOS 14. Now, this has been very controversial, especially when it comes to Facebook because it will eliminate the ability for advertisers to track you across the web and that's basically how Facebook makes its money. And so this feature will be now opt-in if you want to be tracked. Facebook says that that's an issue.

And it's part of an ongoing, kind of, privacy movement that Apple has undertaken. And so today as part of Privacy Day, Tim Cook gave a speech about privacy at the Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Conference. It was virtual, obviously. I just want to dig into some of the quotes that he has. He said that the algorithmic-- algorithm-driven social platforms are an interconnected ecosystem of companies and data brokers, of purveyors of fake news and peddlers of division, of trackers and hucksters just looking to make a quick buck.

And then he goes on to question about these kinds of platforms that are out there. What are the consequences of prioritizing conspiracy theories and violent incitement simply because of high rates of engagement? What are the consequences of not just tolerating but rewarding content that undermines public trust in life-saving vaccinations? And what are the consequences of seeing thousands of users joining extremist groups and then perpetuating an algorithm that recommends even more?

So Tim Cook obviously pointing at the likes of Facebook, Twitter, all the social platforms, really, and saying they want to take a stand against this. Now, on the flip side, you have Facebook, which is saying that the only reason why Apple wants to put this tracking feature out there-- or anti-tracking feature out there, is so that app developers won't be able to offer their apps for free and they'll have to then charge for them. That would then give Apple a 30% cut of all of those app sales. So there's this back and forth going on. Facebook's Zuckerberg referenced it during their earnings call yesterday, basically saying that Apple is its biggest competitor now. So it's a fascinating kind of tale between these two major companies. And, you know, I mean, at the end of the day, they really do both need each other.

KRISTIN MYERS: I was just about to say that. It's interesting to hear them consider each other competition because you would think of them as-- as friends. That they need to work hand-in-hand for the success of both of their companies. I don't know if a bunch of Facebook users-- to grab Facebook-- are going to dump Apple. I'm not leaving iPhone. I don't know about you. You do-- I mean you have a ton of phones, though so--

[LAUGHS]

--you might be able to break down Android--

DAN HOWLEY: That's really the question.

KRISTIN MYERS: --users.

DAN HOWLEY: [LAUGHS]

And I think that's really the question. Does Facebook need Apple? Does Apple need Facebook? I think that Facebook needs Apple more than anything because you can't imagine too many people leaving en masse just because they can't access Facebook. On the flip side, Facebook users will just end up sticking with their iPhones because, why would they leave?

KRISTIN MYERS: Exactly. Why would they leave? Well, we'll have you back on for the update on this battle between those two companies. Thanks so much, Dan.