"We've never been in the data business," Apple CEO Tim Cook told NPR on Monday, responding to a report that Facebook struck agreements giving Apple and other device makers access to Facebook users' personal information.
Information on users' relationship status, religion and political leaning is among the private data that became available under partnerships between Facebook and at least 60 device makers, the New York Times reported.
"The things mentioned in the Times article about relationship statuses and all these kinds of stuff, this is so foreign to us, and not data that we have ever received at all or requested — zero," Cook told NPR's Steve Inskeep and Laura Sydell during the company's annual conference for developers in San Jose.
"What we did was we integrated the ability to share in the operating system, make it simple to share a photo and that sort of thing," Cook added. "So it's a convenience for the user. We weren't in the data business. We've never been in the data business."
Cook has become a public advocate for privacy, calling it a "fundamental human right." He has spoken out against the business model of rival big-tech companies, such as Facebook, which profits from targeting advertising to users based on personal data. Apple's business model relies on selling hardware and services.