Zuckerberg disses Apple, misses

In his company's analyst call, Facebook's CEO implicitly criticizes Cupertino. He's on shaky ground.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

A touch peeved?

File photo

He's mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore.

Well, given that we're talking about the marginally less emotive Mark Zuckerberg, he's probably a touch peeved and he's going to say a couple of things.

That's the impression one gets from yesterday's Facebook call with analysts, reported by Marketwatch.

Facebook's CEO seems irritated that his counterpart at Apple, Tim Cook, has been making disparaging remarks toward Facebook and it's just not fair.

Also: Why Facebook is powerless to stop its own descent

He defended Facebook by saying: "In countries where there's more competition between iOS and Android, like much of Europe, people tend to prefer our services."

They do? Ah, but when Zuckerberg refers to "our services," he's bundling WhatsApp into the deal.

He explained: "It's worth noting that one of the main reasons people prefer our services, especially WhatsApp, is because of its stronger record on privacy. WhatsApp is completely end-to-end encrypted, does not store your messages and doesn't store the keys to your messages in China or anywhere else."

Yes, a decent joke on Apple's alleged compromise position in China, by having data stored on servers based in that country. Cupertino denies that this leads to giving the Chinese government access to that data.

Surely, though, more than a few snorts were emitted around the world when Zuckerberg tried to claim "a stronger record on privacy."

Facebook has become the byword for insecurity. Not merely human insecurity, you understand, but the sheer porousness of its service.

Only this week, Vice News posed as 100 different senators trying to place ads on the site and Facebook approved them all.

The mere mention of the name Cambridge Analytica offers an extremely dim view of Facebook's ability -- or even interest -- in keeping its data secure, rather than opening it to bidders of one sort or another.

Also: Facebook data privacy scandal: A cheat sheet TechRepublic

There's something even more basic and tortured, though, about Zuckerberg's apparent attempt to criticize Apple.

As he points out WhatsApp's security strength, he appears to forget that the founders of that app quit Facebook -- once they'd made untold billions -- and not very quietly.

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, for example, offered this observation after he slipped away: "At the end of the day, I sold my company. I sold my users' privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day."

At heart, Facebook the brand and Zuckerberg the CEO have lost people's trust.

I don't remember any executive leaving Apple and, as Acton did, suggesting a hashtag that users should delete the company.

Adjust these Facebook privacy settings to protect your personal data

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