Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak joined a growing list of tech titans in criticizing Facebook, saying that most people should delete their accounts and stop using the world’s largest social media platform.
“There are many different kinds of people, and some [of] the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” Wozniak told TMZ during a brief interview at Ronald Reagan International Airport. “But to many like myself, my recommendation to most people is: You should figure out a way to get off of Facebook.”
Wozniak got rid of his own Facebook account in 2018 after Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm, harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of as many as 87 million people. At the time, he said Facebook had brought him “more negatives than positives.”
Wozniak’s concerns over privacy extended beyond just Facebook: “Who knows if my cell phone is listening right now?” he said in the interview.
“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,” he said. “But there’s almost no way to stop it.”
Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Facebook-owned Instagram, said in June that the app doesn’t listen in on your conversations, but Facebook’s track record when it comes to privacy has been less than stellar. In May, a Facebook lawyer told a judge in a class-action lawsuit over the Cambridge Analytica scandal that “there is no privacy” on Facebook and other social networks.
At the same time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly said that one of his top priorities over the next few years is to build a “privacy-focused social platform.”
True to his Apple roots, Wozniak said that people should be able to pay for more privacy. Apple has embraced pro-privacy features and messaging — though the company’s products tend to be more expensive to compensate for the resulting loss of revenue opportunities.
“People think they have a level of privacy they don’t,” he said. “Why don’t they give me a choice? Let me pay a certain amount, and you’ll keep my data more secure and private than everybody else handing it to advertisers.”
Apple’s own CEO Tim Cook has frequently taken shots at the company’s biggest rivals, including Facebook, saying that the Silicon Valley giants created a “chaos factory.”
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