Tim Cook said companies do not need that much user data. Cook speaks during a product launch event on September 12, 2018, in Cupertino, California. Noah Berger/AFP/Getty Images

Major tech firms like Facebook and Google have faced increased public scrutiny in 2018 over their use of user data. One company that has avoided the same level of criticism this year is Apple, despite the iPhone maker having access to huge amounts of customer information.

In an interview on HBO's "Vice News Tonight", Apple CEO Tim Cook took shots at companies that collect too much data.

The interview covered a variety of topics relevant to Apple’s business practices. One of the choice quotes from Cook involved data privacy, specifically the idea that businesses need granular customer information in order to offer better services.

Specifically, Cook called that idea “a bunch of bunk.”

Sites, apps and devices will often offer some kind of benefit to customers who hand over their data. Users can log into several services using Facebook for easy account creation, rather than going through a lengthy sign-up process, for example. Facebook came under fire earlier this year after it was learned that more than 50 hardware makers had access to large amounts of information that users may not have explicitly consented to give away.

Cook’s response was prompted by the notion that Apple’s virtual assistant Siri would fall behind its competitors, namely Amazon’s Alexa, because Apple does not collect as much data. Cook waved that concern off, criticizing other tech firms for misusing customer data in the process.

“I see privacy as one of the most important issues of the 21st century,” Cook said. “I see it as a fundamental human right.”

Apple has not faced the same level of scrutiny over data privacy when compared to Google and Facebook. The company has policies in place to prevent apps from collecting too much user data.

Earlier this year, Facebook had to remove one of its apps from the iOS App Store for taking too much user information. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network was criticized earlier this year for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as well as a number of smaller controversies.

Google was recently sued for allegedly tracking users’ physical locations through apps despite users turning off an option that should have disabled that.