Apple Cofounder Steve Wozniak deleted his Facebook account last year and is now telling anyone willing to listen to do the same before it's too late.
TMZ interviewed Wozniak at Reagan National Airport in D.C. last Friday and asked him if he's troubled by Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms infringing on his privacy. Woz responded by saying social platforms are eavesdropping on our private conversations, and sending personal data to advertisers. With the lack of privacy on social media, he said, most people should delete their accounts.
"There are many different kinds of people, and some the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy," Woz told TMZ.
"But to many like myself, my recommendation is—to most people—you should figure out a way to get off Facebook."
Woz suggested, that at this point, there's no way to stop the invasion of privacy by Big Tech.
"But, everything about you... I mean, they can measure your heartbeat with lasers now, they can listen to you with a lot of devices. Who knows if my cellphone's listening right now. Alexa has already been in the news a lot," he told TMZ.
"So I worry because you're having conversations that you think are private... You're saying words that really shouldn't be listened to, because you don't expect it. But there's almost no way to stop it," Woz said.
Woz's solution: allow social media companies to give users a choice of premium subscription plans, one where they pay to have their data more secure.
"People think they have a level of privacy they don't. Why don't they give me a choice? Let me pay a certain amount, and you'll keep my data more secure and private then everybody else handing it to advertisers."
In an email response last April, Woz told USA Today that Facebook makes a lot of advertising money from personal information voluntarily shared with the company.
Woz said he'd rather pay for Facebook - adding that Apple "makes money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you're the product."
What is far more fascinating to us is that it took years for brilliant people such as Wozniak to grasp what was obvious to most others, even if those "others" are what the dormant, quiet and largely daft majority, would call "conspiracy theorists."