Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he will stop using Facebook in protest of how the social media platform and other internet companies handle users’ personal information.
Wozniak adjusted his profile on Facebook before deactivating his account and was shocked to see the extent of the platform’s data collection, he wrote in an email to USA Today.
“I was surprised to see how many categories for ads and how many advertisers I had to get rid of, one at a time. I did not feel that this is what people want done to them,” he wrote. “Ads and spam are bad things these days and there are no controls over them. Or transparency.”
Wozniak’s announcement comes as Facebook is under fire for its potential mishandling of user data with Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that allegedly obtained personal information on as many as 87 million of Facebook users in an effort to influence elections.
Wozniak said he would rather pay to use the social media platform than have his personal information used by advertisers.
“Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and … Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this,” he wrote to USA TODAY. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”
The Apple co-founder did not delete his Facebook account entirely but instead opted to deactivate it so that no one could take his screen name, he told USA Today.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended his company’s practices, saying in a recent interview that the idea Facebook doesn’t care about its customers because they don’t pay for the service is “extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth.”
He also said in the interview with Vox that an advertising-supported business model is the only way a company such as Facebook can connect people around the world regardless of their ability to pay.
The social media giant has also announced changes, including revisions to its privacy settings to make it easier for users to control who can access their personal information.
Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday about the company’s ongoing data-privacy scandal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.