Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks that people who value privacy should quit Facebook.
Woz, who quit Facebook last year after the Cambridge Analytics scandal, said that users could never be sure when they were being listened into.
“There are many different kinds of people, and some of the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” Wozniak told TMZ. “But to many like myself, my recommendation is – to most people – you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.”
“I mean, they can measure your heartbeat with lasers now, they can listen to you with a lot of devices,” Woz continued. “Who knows if my cellphone’s listening right now? Alexa has already been in the news a lot So I worry because you’re having conversations that you think are private… You’re saying words that really shouldn’t be listened to, because you don’t expect it. But there’s almost no way to stop it.”
What’s Woz’s solution?
Woz thinks he has a solution, however, which he believes could be adopted by today’s tech giants. Simply put: give customers the ability to pay a bit more if they want to keep their data private.
“Why don’t they give me a choice? Let me pay a certain amount, and you’ll keep my data more secure and private then everybody else handing it to advertisers,” he said.
Woz’s solution isn’t perfect, but it is a somewhat Apple-like answer. Apple has long touted privacy as one of the benefits of its premium-price devices. This has led to accusations from rivals like Google that Apple sells privacy as a “luxury good.” (Apple exec Craig Federighi has vehemently disagreed with this assessment.)
Apple and Facebook’s shared history
Apple and Facebook have a complex history. Apple was responsible for one of the big early revenue streams for the social media giant. Back in the days that it was still called Thefacebook, Apple sponsored a group on the site by agreeing to pay $1 per month for every user who joined — with a monthly minimum of $50,000.
Today, their fates have diverged. Apple and Facebook have frequently found themselves at odds over the issue of privacy. While Woz is far from an official spokesman for Apple, his attitude sums up a big divide between the two companies.