NYT: Maybe only Tim Cook can fix Facebook’s privacy problem

On a day when Apple dramatically revoked enterprise access for Facebook, the New York Times’ Kevin Roose looks at Apple’s power in an increasingly impactful row over what it means to offer users privacy:

The move is the clearest sign yet that the cold war between Facebook and Apple over data use and privacy is heating up.

Mr. Cook, who has called privacy a “fundamental human right” and taken Facebook and Google to task for the misuse of user data in the past, could effectively become a technology regulator of last resort — using the power of Apple’s iOS operating system as a cudgel to force software companies to respect user privacy and play by the rules, or risk losing access to millions of iPhone users.

I was discussing this story with my editor as I drove in this morning, and it struck us that, as far as Apple is concerned, this is an almost perfect punishment.

It allows Apple to give Mark Zuckerberg a serious, embarrassing slap on the wrist – one you sense Tim Cook has been wanting to administer for some time – without upsetting the many millions who use the iPhone to access Facebook’s products.

Speaking of many millions, Facebook’s earnings shattered analyst expectations and stock is soaring. Crisis? Hardly.