- Steve Wozniak, the cofounder of Apple, told USA Today he’s quitting Facebook.
- Wozniak said he didn’t like the way the company collects user data for advertising purposes.
- His remarks also cast Apple in an awfully flattering light, as Facebook hits its lowest ebb in terms of public opinion.
Apple’s cofounder, Steve Wozniak, said that he plans to quit Facebook because the company doesn’t respect user privacy or data.
In an email to USA Today, Wozniak wrote: “Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and … Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this. The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”
He continued: “Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.”
Wozniak is referring to a common argument here: that consumers who use free services on the internet provided by Google and Facebook are paying with their own data, rather than money, because those companies track their browsing and usage habits, then sell ads against that information.
Apple, on the other hand, charges a lot of money for the iPhone, but doesn’t use your information for ads.
Wozniak also said he would rather pay a fee to Facebook than have his information used for advertising.
Wozniak’s #deleteFacebook moment is well-timed for Apple
A cynic might wonder about the timing of Steve Wozniak’s comments. They coincide with Facebook being at its lowest ebb publicly and politically.
It’s true that most of the social network’s users had no idea until now what the company was doing with their data. But Wozniak is highly technical, and has previously made it clear that he’s aware that Facebook and Google use his data for advertising, and that he doesn’t like it.
For tech-savvy users, the Cambridge Analytica scandal simply encapsulates what privacy activists have been warning about for years.
It seems like now is an opportune time for Apple executives, current and former, to play up the company’s strengths in privacy.