Steve Wozniak drops Facebook: “The profits are all based on the user’s info”

Steve Wozniak, the cofounder of Apple, has formally deactivated his Facebook account.

Wozniak, who has not been involved with day-to-day operations at Apple in decades, nonetheless has a legendary status in Silicon Valley. He is an active user of social media: his Twitter account regularly sends out automated messages of where he is traveling and what he is eating.

In an email interview with , Wozniak wrote that he was no longer satisfied with Facebook, knowing that it makes money off of user data.

“The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back,” he wrote. “Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.”

His Sunday announcement to his Facebook followers came just ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s scheduled testimony before Congress on Tuesday. The CEO is also reportedly set to meet with members of Congress privately on Monday.

Wozniak wrote that Facebook had “brought me more negatives than positives.”

Facebook is still under notable public pressure in the wake of the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, the British data analytics firm that worked with the Donald Trump presidential campaign. The company is said to have retained private data from 87 million Facebook users despite having assured Facebook that the data was deleted. Cambridge Analytica and its affiliated companies maintain that they did nothing wrong.

In the wake of the March 2018 revelations, there have been increasing calls for users to #DeleteFacebook, however only relatively few appear to have actually done so. In a call with reporters last week, Zuckerberg said that the number of people who have undertaken such efforts remained small.

Still, when Wozniak tried to change some of his privacy settings in the aftermath of Cambridge Analytica, he said he was “surprised” to find out how many categories for ads he had to remove. “I did not feel that this is what people want done to them,” added Wozniak. “Ads and spam are bad things these days and there are no controls over them. Or transparency.”

The Apple cofounder did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

Facebook has also not responded to Ars’ repeated queries as to whether the company would consider a paid, more privacy-minded option for some users—an option that some, including Wozniak, say they would sign up for.

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