Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has suffered a counter-attack from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in what is shaping up to be a very public war of words over privacy. Speaking over the developments on CNBC today, Daily Mail North America CEO Jon Steinberg agreed with the comments made by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) CEO Eric Schmidt, and said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook was out of line.

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“Well what makes sense to me is that Tim Cook, who just had a major breach of information on iCloud, and has iAd which has not been that successful, and had it been successful they probably would’ve gone into more versions of targeting; is punching at Google’s core business. It just seems a little bit unfair because it’s something he’s not in and so he’s going to attack Google over it,” Steinberg, a former employee of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), said.

While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s open letter, penned by Cook, did not specifically mention Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) by name, it was squarely aimed at them and their operations. In it, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) likened people as the products of such companies, rather than the customers, while declaring they were above such practices.

During an interview with ABC News, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) CEO Eric Schmidt said Cook was “not quite right” in his comments, and that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) takes customer privacy very seriously, including providing them with an incognito mode within their Chrome browser, which prevents the majority of (though not all) tracking and storage of browsing history viewable by other parties.

The open letter from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was a response both to their iCloud breach, as well as a full-page attack ad in the New York Times launched by eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)’s Paypal. That ad questioned their security, and said that “We the people want our money safer than our selfies.”

Carl Icahn’s Icahn Capital Lp is the largest hedge fund shareholder in Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) with over 52 million shares  in the beloved Cupertino tech giant.

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