×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Deactivates Facebook Account Over Privacy Concerns

UPDATED: Steve Wozniak, the tech philanthropist who co-founded Apple, said he is leaving Facebook over the social giant’s aggregation of users’ data — and how Facebook profits off that info.

“Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and… Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this,” he said in an email to USA Today, according to a story published Sunday. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”

By contrast, Wozniak said, “Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.”

The announcement from “The Woz” comes as Facebook continues try to contain the damage from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The company last week revealed last week that data on upwards of 87 million users may have been improperly obtained by the political consulting firm, which reportedly used that data as part of its work on Donald Trump’s successful 2016 president campaign. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before Congress at a Senate hearing Tuesday and a House hearing on Wednesday about its handling of the Cambridge Analytica case.

Wozniak’s comments echoed those of Apple CEO Tim Cook in an interview that aired on MSNBC last Friday. In the interview, part of MSNBC’s “Revolution” series, Cook blasted Facebook’s handling of the Cambridge Analytica situation, saying that “privacy to us is a human right” and noted that Apple could “make a ton of money” if it chose to monetize its customers’ data.

“This is not something that we just started last week when we saw something happening. We’ve been doing this for years,” Cook said. The CEO also called for new data-privacy legislation, saying that while his preference is for industries to self-regulate, “I think we’re beyond that here.”

The Facebook scandal has prompted a boycott movement revolving around the hashtag #DeleteFacebook. Those leaving the platform in the wake of the revelations have included Will FerrellPlayboy, Cher, Elon Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX, and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.

Wozniak deactivated — but didn’t actually delete — his personal Facebook account, telling USA Today he didn’t want someone else to obtain his screen name. Wozniak’s official public page on Facebook, which has about 230,000 followers, was still active as of Monday morning but currently has only two active posts.

Despite a smattering of high-profile defections, most Wall Street analysts don’t expect a significant dent in Facebook’s monthly user base of 2.1 billion worldwide.

While “#deletefacebook seems to have become a popular hashtag after the initial news reports… we do not believe it will have a material impact” on its monthly user base, SunTrust analyst Youssef Squali wrote in a March 29 note reiterating his “buy” rating on the stock.

Meanwhile, Google searches for “#deletefacebook” and related terms, after peaking March 21 in the days after the Cambridge Analytica story broke (and when Zuckerberg first publicly addressed the situation), have declined over the following weeks.

Source: Google Trends

More Digital

  • Movistar+ Announces Ambitious Original Series ‘La

    Movistar+ Announces Ambitious Original Series ‘La Unidad’

    MELILLA, Spain — Spain’s pay TV leader Movistar+ has announced its newest original series, the anti-terrorist police drama-thriller series “La Unidad,” which started filming last week in the small autonomous Spanish community of Melilla, located on the Moroccan coast. One of the biggest international plays to date for Movistar +, the pay TV/SVOD unit of [...]

  • Vice Media

    APOS: Tencent Video, Vice Media Hatch Premium Youth Series for China

    China’s Tencent Video and global studio Vice Media have joined forces to create a premium youth series exploring hype culture. The eight-part series, with episodes of 25 minutes, will explore a generation obsessed with finding the next big thing. The series to be produced by Vice Studios is earmarked for a late 2019 release through [...]

  • Avengers EndGame Trailer

    ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Marvel claims the top spot in spending with “Avengers: Endgame.” Ads placed for the superhero film had an estimated media value of $6.28 million through Sunday for 927 national ad airings on 39 networks. (Spend figures [...]

  • Co-Editor-In-Chief of Variety, Andrew Wallenstein and

    10 Things We Learned at Variety’s Silicon Valleywood Summit

    Variety’s first-ever Silicon Valley conference, presented by PwC, didn’t just bring together the worlds of technology and entertainment, it also provided plenty of insights into the strategies of market leaders, creators and senior executives in this space. Here are 10 key lessons from the event, which was held at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in [...]

  • Korea's JTBC Signs up as Iflix

    APOS: Korea's JTBC Signs up as Iflix Investor and Content Partner

    South Korea’s JTBC Content Hub has become a strategic investor in Iflix, the South East Asia-based video streaming platform. Formed only in 2011, JTBC has rapidly become one of Korea’s most influential broadcasters, with a mix of news, creative dramas and entertainment shows. Its hit dramas include “SKY Castle,” “Misty,” and “Something in the Rain.” [...]

  • Twitter Jack Dorsey

    Trump Meets With Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey After Complaining of Bias

    WASHINGTON — Less than 12 hours after complaining that Twitter doesn’t “treat me well as a Republican,” President Trump met with the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, and indicated that they would be “keeping an open dialogue.” “Great meeting this afternoon at the @WhiteHouse with @Jack from @Twitter. Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and [...]

  • Wanda Sykes Silicon Valleywood

    Wanda Sykes on Doing Business With Netflix: 'They Moved That Comma'

    MENLO PARK, Calif. — Wanda Sykes wears a lot of hats as a comedian, writer, producer and entrepreneur, and that gives her a keen sense of the ever-growing content marketplace. She also has a very clear understanding of what she’s worth in dollars and cents, as she shared Tuesday in her Q&A at Variety’s Silicon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content