Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak is quitting Facebook over data and privacy concerns

By Elliot Bullman

Wozniak said he didn't like the way the company collected user data for advertising purposes. His remarks cast Apple in a flattering light — as Facebook approaches a low in public opinion.

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak said he planned to quit Facebook because he doesn't think the company respects user privacy or data.

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"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 USA Today. "The profits are all based on the user's info, but the users get none of the profits back.

"Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you are the product."

Wozniak was referring to a common argument — that consumers who use free services on the internet provided byGoogle and Facebook are paying with their data, rather than with money, because those companies track their browsing and internet use to sell ads against that information.

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Apple, on the other hand, charges a lot of money for the iPhone but doesn't use customers' information for ads.

Wozniak also said he would rather pay a fee to Facebook than have his information used for advertising.

Wozniak's #deleteFacebook moment is well timed for Apple. A cynic might wonder about the timing of Wozniak's comments. They coincide with Facebook approaching a low publicly and politically amid the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

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For the tech-savvy, like Wozniak, the scandal encapsulates what privacy activists have been warning about for years. But the revelation that Facebook has allowed third parties relatively easy access to user data has given those concerns a higher profile.

The scandal has also sparked public sniping between Apple CEO Tim Cook —who said Facebook's situation was "dire"— and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg,who described those remarks as "glib."

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Apple executives, current and former, seem to think it is an opportune time to play up the company's strengths in privacy.

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