Walter Isaacson says Apple “is a force for good” and Facebook not so much

In an interview conducted by Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer, Walter Isaacson said that Apple is doing right by the users and Facebook is not. Walter Isaacson authored “Steve Jobs” a biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Apple and Facebook have been involved in an ongoing spat for some time now. Recently the spat has grown immensely with Apple’s privacy-focused update, ATT feature on iOS, which intends to not only educate users about the data they handover to app developers and websites without adequate knowledge but to also give users control over whether they want to be tracked by the apps or not.

Mark Zuckerburg has shown that he is not happy about the changes being made by Apple on its platform, and has been extremely vocal about how it will impact “small businesses” that heavily rely on Facebook’s platform to generate customers.

Walter Isaacson, Apple and Facebook

Walter Isaacson believes Apple is doing more good than Facebook

In the interview with Yahoo Finance, Walter Isaacson talked about how technology needs to help humanity, adding that Apple is on the right track to achieve this while social media networks like Facebook are enabling the spread of anger and disinformation. Isaacson explained that he does not have a specific problem with targetted advertising, but the scenario becomes wildly dangerous when political and advertising ads are thrown into the mix.

I think we always have to worry about whether tech is a force for good. I think Apple actually is, in general, because it’s both protecting our privacy, and it is not basing its entire business model on the advertising model, which means harvesting…all of your information and microtargeting things to you.

Walter Isaacson, Facebook Apple

Recently, Tim Cook spoke at the virtual Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection conference criticizing the business models of social media companies like Facebook and also talked about Apple’s commitment to improving user privacy and giving users more control over their data. Cook said that they are “an interconnected ecosystem of companies and data brokers, of purveyors of fake news and pedlers of division, of trackers, and hucksters just looking to make a quick buck.”

Walter Isaacson further added that he believes Twitter and Facebook need to take on more responsibility for the algorithms they use that tend to “incent people to get enraged and pass along misinformation.” Since Isaacson was the author for “Steve Jobs”, he told Serwer that the late Apple executive never shifted the company into the social media space because “he was never comfortable with the idea.”

Steve Jobs (he) was very careful in making sure that people had control of their technology instead of the technology having control of them. And he is a model to me how people should approach the digital age. And that is why he was not comfortable with social media and social networks.

Apple CEO Tim Cook - Walter Isaacson

Facebook’s point of view to the whole argument is that the privacy updates by Apple are a means for the company to gain leverage over consumers and force them to pay for more apps. Resulting in a completely locked monopoly. Zuckerburg mentioned that the “new privacy features are anti-competitive and self-serving.”

Reportedly, Facebook is preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple in hopes to stop the company’s privacy features. Back in December, EFF called Facebook’s opposition of Apple’s new privacy feature “laughable”. What are your thoughts about this battle between two Silicon Valley tech giants?

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About the Author

Usman has been playing games for as long as he can remember. He is an editor at iThinkDifferent and writes about games, Apple news, hardware, productivity guides, and more. When not writing for iTD, Usman loves to play competitive Team Fortress 2, spends time honing his football skills, and watches superhero movies.