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Leonid Bershidsky

Why Apple and Microsoft Are Healthier Than Facebook

Tech's old-timers have business models based on selling things customers want to buy. That's especially useful now.
Long-term thinking.

Long-term thinking.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It's easy to understand Apple CEO Tim Cook's somewhat self-righteous comments on the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal: His company has never emphasized customer data monetization, and privacy has been one of its persistent selling points. Apple still collects our data — and reserves the right to share it — but the company has a much better track record than newer tech titans.

"The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product," Cook said on Wednesday. "We've elected not to do that." Asked what he'd do if he were in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's shoes, he replied, "I wouldn't be in this situation."