Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has decided to ditch Facebook as a result of the social network’s sharing of members’ data.
The platform has recently been under fire for its handling of users’ data, namely due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which revealed that the British consulting company had accessed the personal information of over 50 million Facebook members.
“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,” Wozniak told USA Today.
Facebook has been vague in their response to the scandal. “We made mistakes and I own them and they are on me. There are operational things that we need to change in this company and we are changing them. We have to learn from our mistakes and we need to take action,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said last week.
The company has also hinted that paying for use of the site would limit access to user data by outside companies or advertisers. This has angered some who believe that paying for use of the site would unfairly discriminate against poorer users.
“[Apple could] make a ton of money if we monetized our customer. We’ve elected not to do that,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “I think it’s an invasion of privacy. I think it’s – privacy to us is a human right. It’s a civil liberty, and in something that is unique to America, this is like freedom of speech and freedom of the press and privacy is right up there for us. And so, we’ve always done this. This is not something that we just started last week when we saw something happening. We’ve been doing this for years.”
"To me it's creepy when I look at something and all of a sudden it's chasing me all the way across the web," Cook added. "I don't like that."
Wozniak has stated that he would prefer to pay for Facebook if it prevented his personal information from being “exploited” for advertising. “Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.”
Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded that Wozniak and Cook’s comments were “extremely glib and not aligned with the truth.”
“I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm Syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you,” Zuckerberg said. “Because that sounds ridiculous to me.”