Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has emphasized his company’s privacy, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is not at all convinced that the social network maintains the confidentiality of users’ personal interactions.
During an interview with TMZ, Wozniak alerted users to “find a way out of Facebook”. Wozniak explained that Facebook users can put “I like” a publication, believing that only their friends will see it, but this information can reach advertisers. “The problem is that my likes don’t just reach you, they go to the advertisers”, he says.
In this regard, the engineer suggested that Facebook and other social networks should give users the option of paying a fee to protect their privacy. “Why don’t you give me a choice? Let me pay a certain amount to keep my data safer and more private instead of giving it to advertisers,” he said.
Wozniak was asked if he considered that devices spied on users, a concern raised at the time by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri. “I’m worried because you’re having conversations that you think are private… you’re saying words that you hope won’t be heard,” he told TMZ. “But there’s no way to stop it,” he added.
Wozniak’s comments come after Facebook has been embroiled in a series of privacy-related controversies. The biggest of these scandals came to light in 2018 when The New York Times and The Guardian reported that Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm linked to President Trump’s campaign, had unknowingly collected information from the profiles of 50 million Facebook users.