Wozniak Describes How Facebook Makes Big Money from Users Personal Information
Time for New Unbiased Social Media?
According to USA Today, “Woz” has become the latest member of the #DeleteFacebook movement.
“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 the newspaper. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back,” says former Apple exec and co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Facebook has become the most popular advertising vehicle in recent years thanks largely to its ability to segment markets and allow advertisers to target narrow niches including age, interests and location of desired prospects. Now we know how Facebook can do this, according to Wozniak
“It should bother all of us how much data they had access to, like profile info that we think is private,” Wozniak wrote in an email to CNNMoney. “My disgust goes to Facebook. But, like all of us, I clicked ‘Accept’ or ‘OK’ or something and gave it away to Facebook. I have always felt badly about social websites being able to sell my stuff, like my photos, and keeping all the money.”
Elon Musk took the plunge last month in the wake of revelations that resulted from an affiliation with research firm Cambridge Analytica. it was reported that personal information for 50 million Facebook users had been compromised — the number was then adjusted upward to 87 million. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is in Washington as the week begins, and will testify in Congress about the data crisis. Zuckerberg will not be under oath as he testifies and some, particularly on the right such as Rush Limbaugh, believe this is nothing more than political theater orchestrated by the mainstream liberal ‘deep state.’
Wozniak said he’d rather pay for Facebook than have his personal information exploited for advertising. And he heaped praise on Apple for respecting people’s privacy.
“Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you,” Wozniak said. “As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.”
Wozniak said that Facebook doesn’t protect its users’ data the way Apple does, and instead profits from its user’s information. Wozniak, who co-founded Apple in the 1970s with Steve Jobs, is still employed by the company.
“It’s turned into money but none is returned to you for providing your data,” he said. “Oh, I get a free account. Well, give me a price to never share my data and I’ll know how much I’m paying for that account.”
Wozniak, who also founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for digital rights, said users should take a look under the hood of the social network.
“Anyone can go into their Facebook ‘settings’ and look through the ads section to see why it so disgusted me.”
Current Apple CEO Tim Cook has also publicly criticized Facebook, prompting Zuckerberg to denounce Cook’s comments as “extremely glib.”
Though Facebook stock has seen a big drop in recent weeks, recent surveys show that few have followed Wozniak and Musk in ‘jumping ship.’ Only time will tell as to long-term effects of recent Facebook fallout.