Steve Wozniak, the tech philanthropist who co-founded Apple, said he is leaving Facebook over the social giant’s aggregation of data — and how Facebook profits off that info.
“Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and … Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this,” he said in an email to USA Today, according to a story published Sunday. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”
By contrast, Wozniak said, “Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.”
Portrait of American businessmen and engineers Steve Jobs (left) and Steve Wozniak, co-founders of Apple Computer Inc, at the first West Coast Computer Faire, where the Apple II computer was debuted, in Brooks Hall, San Francisco, California, April 16th or 17th, 1977. (Photo by Tom Munnecke/Getty Images)
DEVORE, CA - MAY 28 : Apple Computers Co-founder Steve 'the Woz' Wozniak gives a 'thumbs-up' during the multi-day US FESTIVAL, May 28, 1983 at Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore, California. (Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images)
10-1984, MAR 15 1987; Wozniak, Steve - Computers; (Photo By Lyn Alweis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Fred Rogers, Right, Creator Of The Famed 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' Children's Television Show, Presents His Trademark Sweater To Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder Of Apple Computer, Friday, April 30, 1999, At The Children's Discovery Museum In San Jose, Calif. Rogers Was Awarded The First Ever Legacy For Children Award By The Museum, Of Which Wozniak Is A Major Benefactor, At A Ceremony For 750 Silicon Valley Corporate, Community And Educational Leaders. (Photo By Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 7: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak speaks during a panel discussion at Macworld January 7, 2003 in San Francisco. Apple announced new 17-inch and 12-inch powerbooks as well as several new software updates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Apple Computer co-founder, Steve Wozniak, speaks to the media after donating a check for $10,000 to the Humane Society Silicon Valley on September 15, 2005 in Santa Clara, California. With almost 1,000 displaced dogs and cats set to come into the bay area for temporary shelter, people have been coming forward with cash donations and volunteering time at the shelters around the bay area. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 14: Drew Carey guest hosted THE LATE LATE SHOW, with guest Steve Wozniak on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 (12:37 -- 1:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 24: Engineer Steve Wozniak attends the 2015 National Association of Music Merchants show at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc. and chief scientist of Primary Data, speaks at Telcel's Digital Village, hosted by Telmex and powered by Infinitum, in Mexico City, Mexico, on Friday, July 24, 2015. Telcel's Digital Village - Infinitum offers visitors free courses, workshops, conferences and contests. Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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“The Woz” says he’s exiting Facebook as the social platform continues try to contain the damage from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook last week revealed last week that data on upwards of 87 million users may have been improperly obtained by the political consulting firm, which reportedly used that data as part of its work on Donald Trump’s successful 2016 president campaign. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before Congress at a Senate hearing Tuesday and a House hearing on Wednesday about its handling of the Cambridge Analytica case.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview that aired on MSNBC last Friday, blasted Facebook’s handling of the Cambridge Analytica situation, saying that “privacy to us is a human right” and noted that Apple could “make a ton of money” if it chose to monetize its customers’ data.
“This is not something that we just started last week when we saw something happening. We’ve been doing this for years,” Cook said . While Cook’s preference is for industries to self-regulate, he said, “I think we’re beyond that here.”
The scandal has prompted a boycott movement revolving around the hashtag #DeleteFacebook; those leaving the platform in the wake of the scandal have included Will Ferrell, Playboy and Elon Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX.
Despite the high-profile defections, most Wall Street analysts don’t expect a significant dent in Facebook’s monthly user base of 2.2 billion worldwide.
While “#deletefacebook seems to have become a popular hashtag after the initial news reports… we do not believe it will have a material impact” on its monthly user base, SunTrust analyst Youssef Squali wrote in a March 29 note reiterating his “buy” rating on the stock.