According to a report in USA Today, “Woz” has become the latest member of the #DeleteFacebook movement.
“Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and … Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this,” Wozniak wrote in an email to the newspaper. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”
Elon Musk took the plunge last month in the wake of revelations of a sizable data breach that resulted from an affiliation with research firm Cambridge Analytica. Initially, it was reported that personal information for 50 million Facebook users had been compromised — the number was then adjusted upward to 87 million. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is in Washington as the week begins, and will testify in Congress tomorrow about the data crisis.
Wozniak said he’d rather pay for Facebook than have his personal information exploited for advertising. And he heaped praise on Apple for respecting people’s privacy.
“Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you,” Wozniak said. “As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.”
Current Apple CEO Tim Cook has also publicly criticized Facebook, prompting Zuckerberg to denounce Cook’s comments as “extremely glib.”
While the data affair has been a brand crisis for Facebook in the U.S. and other parts of the world, the company has 2 billion global users and many observers see this as a blip. Although Facebook will likely face some form of regulatory restraint in the near term, the #DeleteFacebook crowd has not prevailed.
Jefferies analyst Brent Thill wrote in a recent research note that the firm analyzed Facebook’s traffic in March and did not find many users jumping ship. “We believe that recent headlines around Facebook’s data policies have not meaningfully impacted engagement on the platform,” Thill concluded.