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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak leaves Facebook over treatment of users' private data

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he deactivated his Facebook account over the social media giant's treatment of users' private information. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he deactivated his Facebook account over the social media giant's treatment of users' private information, USA Today reported.

"Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and ... Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this," Wozniak noted in an email to the paper. "The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back."

What came as a shock to Wozniak?

Wozniak added to USA Today that he was stunned by the magnitude of Facebook's data collection simply when altering and deleting some of his information before deactivating his account Sunday.

"I was surprised to see how many categories for ads and how many advertisers I had to get rid of, one at a time. I did not feel that this is what people want done to them," he told the paper. "Ads and spam are bad things these days and there are no controls over them. Or transparency."

Did he delete his Facebook altogether?

Wozniak didn't delete his Facebook account, USA Today reported — not wanting to open up his "stevewoz" screen name for someone else to grab.

Wozniak posted the following message Sunday before deactivating it, the paper said: "I am in the process of leaving Facebook. 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."

He added to USA Today that he'd rather pay for Facebook than have his personal information used for advertising — and that Apple respects users' privacy.

What did Wozniak say about Apple's treatment of users' info?

"Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you," Wozniak told the paper. "As they say, with Facebook, you are the product."

More from USA Today:

His surprise announcement marks the latest development in back-and-forth corporate sniping by tech leaders as Facebook copes with a scandal over the potential misuse of user data by political targeting firm Cambridge Analytica. In an update last week, Facebook estimated as many as 87 million people, mostly in the United States, may have had their data improperly shared.

Apple CEO Tim Cook started the unusual public criticism in late March. During a joint interview with Recode and MSNBC, he was asked what he would do about the crisis if he were in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's position.

"I wouldn't be in the situation," Cook said, adding that "we don't subscribe to the view that you have to let everybody in that wants to, or if you don't, you don't believe in free speech," the paper reported.

Cook also questioned social media outlets monetizing users' personal data, USA Today said.

How did Zuckerberg respond?

Zuckerberg fired back at Cook's comment, calling his "extremely glib" in an interview with Vox.

"The reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay," Zuckerberg added to Vox. "And therefore, as with a lot of media, having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people."

Zuckerberg will meet with some lawmakers Monday, a pair of congressional aides told MSN News — one day before he's due to appear before Congress for hearings about the Cambridge Analytica debacle. Zuckerberg released a statement last month admitting that his company “made mistakes” in regard to widespread data mining.

(H/T: Zero Hedge)

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