Back in September, Tim Cook published an open letter in order to address some iCloud security and privacy concerns that had popped up. In the letter he said that  free online services treat you, the consumers, as product. In a recent interview with Time magazine about his mission to get the world online with, the social network commander and chief, defended Facebook‘s free/ad-supported business model.

The defence was against what he sees as charges that an advertising business model is fundamentally not in line with customer’s interests. The way he sees it, if Apple were truly in line with their customers then they would charge less for their products. This is despite previously declaring his respect for Tim Cook as a leader.

“A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers. I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!”

This does seem like a back and forth verbal tennis match between Cook and Zuck. (sorry) In the midst of the huge celebrity photo hack scandal, that was linked to a Find My iPhone exploit, Cook said, ”A few years ago, users of internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.”

Cook didn’t name Facebook, in particular, but the sentiment has been widely associated with Facebook. The Facebook founder is holding his ground in this issue, saying that Facebook cannot fulfil the mission to connect the world if it stops displaying advertisements and starts asking users to pay for access instead.

[Image via dailydot]