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Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday that if his company wanted to, they could make a ton of money by monetizing their customers and making them a product. But he said unlike other companies (like Facebook), Apple has elected not to do that.

"We're not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty."
— Tim Cook in an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher

The bottom line, from Axios' Ina Fried: Apple is trying to distance itself from its tech peers with its privacy stance, something made easier by the fact it makes its money from selling hardware (and to a lesser degree software and services) rather than from advertising.

In the same interview, Recode's Kara Swisher asked Cook that, if he were Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg — who's facing mounting pressure in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal — what would he do? Cook replied:

"What would I do? I wouldn’t be in this situation... We don't want porn on our App Store. We don't want hate speech on our App Store. We don't want the ability to recruit terrorists on our App Store."

Worth noting: Apple has been making this privacy argument for a while, and Cook and Zuckerberg have a history of trading barbs.

Go deeper

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.

Biden says $1,400 stimulus payments can start going out this month

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month.

Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.

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