Steve Wozniak is quitting Facebook over data concerns

By

Steve Wozniak wax sculpture fake eyes
Steve Wozniak is no fan of Facebook.
Photo: Madame Tussauds

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says that he is leaving Facebook over the continuing concern about its abuse of user data.

“Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and … Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this,” Woz told USA Today. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”

Wozniak posted a message on the social network on Sunday, where he has around 5,000 friends. “I am in the process of leaving Facebook,” he wrote. “It’s brought me more negatives than positives. Apple has more secure ways to share things about yourself. I can still deal with old school email and text messages.”

Nonetheless, he is not relinquishing his “stevewoz” user name, suggesting that he’s suspending his account rather than deleting it altogether. “I don’t want someone else grabbing it, even another Steve Wozniak,” he said.

Comparing Facebook to Apple

Comparing Facebook to Apple, Woz wrote that, “Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.”

“I was surprised to see how many categories for ads and how many advertisers I had to get rid of, one at a time,” Woz wrote in his email to USA Today. “I did not feel that this is what people want done to them,” he said. “Ads and spam are bad things these days and there are no controls over them. Or transparency.”

This isn’t the first time Woz has voiced negative sentiments about Facebook and other data-driven tech giants. At an international business conference in Montreal last year, Woz said he tries to “avoid Google and Facebook.”

Not alone in his criticism

He’s far from the only person with ties to Apple to be critical of Facebook. When Tim Cook was recently asked what he would have done if he was in Facebook’s situation he answered, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.” He also called for regulation to be put in place.

Steve Jobs, too, had a warning for Facebook — which he had a complex relationship with. Speaking back in 2010, Jobs said that Apple “always had a very different view of privacy” than many of its cohorts, and suggested that companies needed to be more transparent about sharing user data. (He also supposedly referred to the Facebook founder as a “****ing a**hole” after a particularly heated spat.)

There has been plenty of criticism of Facebook from other tech giants as well. Elon Musk has taken the step of deleting official pages from the social network as well, while even the co-founder of WhatsApp (which was bought by Facebook) has suggested that people delete the app.

Source: USA Today