Steve Wozniak is officially done with Facebook.
On a March episode of “Steve-O’s Wild Ride!” podcast, hosted by host Steve-O, Wozniak said he and his wife recently deactivated their Facebook accounts over data privacy concerns. When you “like” a friend’s post, the interaction isn’t about connecting with someone you know, the Apple co-founder said, it’s about revealing your interests to advertisers. He notes that this is enough to keep him off the platform in the future and that he is “a little scared” by the amount of access Facebook had into his life: “Of all the big tech companies, Facebook is probably number one that I don’t know about.”
In defending his decision, Wozniak appeared to reference a 2018 blog post written by then-Facebook product management director David Baser that explained how Facebook and its partners collect and share personal information, even for people without accounts.
“I read how you can still capture data and send it to Facebook, even when you’re not using the platform,” Wozniak said. “I don’t think this is correct, because you have to be honest, so that every person who uses it knows what they are doing.”
Wozniak appears to have been aware of Facebook’s privacy standards for some time, but the tipping point that led to him deactivating his account wasn’t caused by personalized ads in his feed. Instead, it came from months of habitual and mindless posting on social media.
“I started looking at Facebook because I like little dog videos…and dogs saved by people,” he said. “It became a habit…and I don’t like habits, because that’s addiction.”
Wozniak isn’t alone in his mistrust of Facebook’s privacy standards. In October, Frances Haugen, Facebook’s former civic disinformation product manager, testified before Congress that the platform actively prioritizes user engagement over safety and mental health. Facebook presents “false choices … between connecting with your loved ones online and your personal privacy,” Haugen said.
Wozniak said he tends to avoid social media in general, but added that he was still on TikTok, largely to see more dog videos. Recent studies have shown that TikTok is heavily policed by third-party trackers that collect user data for generally obscure purposes, as The Usa Herald noted.
To stay connected with friends and family, Wozniak, perhaps unsurprisingly, said he relies heavily on Apple services.
“We share photos of our families on iCloud,” Wozniak said. “It costs $2 a month, right? You share photos with albums, and other families friends can participate, and it is protected. It is private. No one can take the data and figure out everything you’re doing.”
If Apple can provide that service for $2 a month, Wozniak argued, then Facebook should be able to create equally inexpensive ways to let friends communicate with each other privately.