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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak quits Facebook over data abuse scandal

Mark Zuckerberg claimed the #DeleteFacebook exodus has had "no meaningful impact" on the social network

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 09 April 2018 13:37 BST
Steve Wozniak waved goodbye to his 5,000 Facebook friends in order to better protect his personal data
Steve Wozniak waved goodbye to his 5,000 Facebook friends in order to better protect his personal data (Getty Images for Discovery)

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has left Facebook over concerns about how the social network is using his personal data.

Wozniak told USA Today that he would be willing to rejoin Facebook and even pay for the service if he was able to opt out of data-based advertising, though no such model currently exists.

“Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook,” Wozniak said. “Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this. The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”

He added: "I was surprised to see how many categories for ads and how many advertisers I had to get rid of, one at a time. I did not feel that this is what people want done to them.

"Ads and spam are bad things these days and there are no controls over them. Or transparency."

Wozniak is the latest high-profile Facebook user to quit the social network following revelations that the UK-based firm Cambridge Analytica exploited data for political purposes.

Around 87 million Facebook users have been caught up in the scandal, all of which are set to be informed on Monday that the technology giant compromised their personal data.

In response to the data scandal, a #DeleteFacebook campaign began spreading across social media in March, with Silicon Valley luminary Elon Musk pulling the pages of two of his companies, Tesla and SpaceX.

Musk told users on Twitter that he didn’t realize the two firms had a presence on Facebook, adding that he had “literally never seen it even once.”

More than half a million people have also signed an open letter calling for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to treat privacy more seriously.

Some Facebook users are turning to more privacy-focussed social networks and messaging apps, though Mr Zuckerberg claims the exodus has not had a major effect on user behaviour or spending from advertisers.

“I don’t think there has been any meaningful impact we’ve observed,” Zuckerberg said.

“But look, it’s not good. Even if we can’t really measure a change in the usage of a product, or the business or anything like that, it still speaks to people feeling like this is a massive breach of trust and that we have a lot of work to do to repair that.”

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