Zuckerberg was referring to comments made by Cook in September when the Apple chief defended the company's approach to security after hundreds of nude and private images of celebrities were stolen from iCloud. Cook said at the time that he didn’t want the company to become a "treasure trove" of user data for the National Security Agency (NSA) and warned consumers to stay clear of companies offering "free" services.
"I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money?" said Cook. "Follow the money. And if they're making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried."
Although no companies were directly named, it was assumed that Cook was referring to both Google and Facebook. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt offered a similar rebuttal to Cook in October, saying his company had the best encryption standards in the industry and that the Apple chief hadn't been briefed "correctly" on his rivals.
Nevertheless, this ideological stance has been growing in influence in recent years and even inspired the creation of alternative social network Ello, which asks users to agree that they’re "not a product" during the sign-up process and has become a public-benefit corporation to legally prohibit it from selling ads. Zuckerberg however is skeptical of this approach, telling Time that Ello won’t ever grow with such a business model. "Our mission is to connect every person in the world," he said. "You don’t do that by having a service people pay for."