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Zuckerberg wants to 'inflict pain' on Apple for privacy changes

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly been angered by Apple CEO Tim Cook's comments about the social network and privacy, which has allegedly led to animosity between the two company chiefs.

Apple is well known as a tech giant attempting to ensure users retain an element of privacy in their digital lives. With initiatives such as iOS 14's App Tracking Transparency on the way, even more attention has been brought to the concept.

However, while Facebook is publicly attacking Apple's privacy initiatives, a profile into the spat between the two tech titans hints it has rumbled along for a few years already.

During the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, Tim Cook offered comments about the matter that Zuckerberg thought were "extremely glib" and "not at all aligned with the truth," reports the Wall Street Journal.

Behind closed doors, Zuckerberg allegedly wanted to bring Apple down a peg, supposedly telling his team "we need to inflict pain" to the iPhone maker. This wasn't the only time that Zuckerberg objected to Cook's commentary, with it reoccurring as time moved on.

In the latest incarnation of the inter-company disagreement, Zuckerberg accused Apple of interfering with how Facebook apps work with its privacy changes. In response, Cook condemned "conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms" without mentioning Facebook, but still heavily inferring in its direction.

People familiar with Zuckerberg reportedly believe the Facebook chief is taking Apple's attacks against the company personally.

Despite the very public attacks against each other, Facebook spokeswoman Dani Lever insists the arguments are not personal in nature. Rather they are "about the future of the free Internet."

"Apple claims this is about privacy, but it's about profit, and we're joining others to point out their self-preferencing anti-competitive nature," Lever added.

Apple and Tim Cook have long held the stance that "the customer is not our product." Its business model doesn't depend on data collection and advertising, making it much easier for Apple to maintain that stance than the advertising-supported Facebook.

Currently, Facebook is simultaneously giving in to Apple's inbound policy changes regarding ad tracking, as well as fighting the company. Facebook is said to be preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple over the matter, at the same time as running a marketing campaign against the measures.