Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Thinks Facebook Users Should Delete Their Accounts

The man who founded Apple alongside Steve Jobs thinks the risks outweigh the benefits on the social media site.

Co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak addresses the audience during Science Channel's "Silicon Valley: The Untold Story" Screening at Computer History Museum on January 17, 2018 in Mountain View, California.
Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images

The man who founded Apple alongside Steve Jobs thinks the risks outweigh the benefits on the social media site.

Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, thinks Facebook users should delete their accounts on the social media website over concerns that Facebook does not value its users’ privacy, The Hill reported.

Wozniak’s comments were made June 28 in a video posted to TMZ last week while he was at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

The 68-year-old technology mogul admitted that for some the benefit of Facebook’s services and infrastructure may outweigh any privacy concerns, but that the costs of being on Facebook are too high for him to remain on the platform.

“I worry because you’re having conversations you think are private or think you can keep to yourself. You’re saying words that really shouldn’t be listened to because you don’t expect it. But there’s almost no way to stop it. People think they have a level of privacy. They don’t.”

Wozniak also shared concerns about liking posts on the social media website, sharing his fear that when a user likes a post on the website, it doesn’t just go to a user’s friend list, but to advertisers. Over 98 percent of Facebook’s revenue in 2017 came from advertising, per The Hill report.

Facebook has been at the center of several privacy scandals over the past several years. In December of last year, the social media giant was accused of sharing personal information with third-party companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Microsoft without disclosing so to users.

According to a USA Today report, Facebook gave Microsoft access to users’ lists of friends for its search engine, Bing, and Netflix and Spotify were allowed access to read users’ private messages. The company also reportedly allowed Amazon to retrieve names and contact information from users without permission.

The Menlo Park, California-based company made headlines in 2018 when a whistleblower revealed the company had sold information on tens of millions of U.S. Facebook users to Cambridge Analytica, which had used the data to build a “psychological warfare tool,” which it used to help elect President Donald Trump in 2016, per a Wired report.

Facebook also admitted its platform contributed to violence in Myanmar, admitting in November 2018 that it did not do enough to stop violence in a genocide that targeted a persecuted Muslim minority in the nation known as the Rohingya, per CNN.

The Apple co-founder had an idea for how the Mark Zuckerberg-led company and other social media companies could get him and other users back on their services: allow users to pay for their privacy. Wozniak said companies, like Facebook, should allow their users to pay to avoid having the companies sell their information to advertisers. That way users could benefit from being on the social network without the privacy concerns.