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Apple Co-Founder Deleting Facebook Account in Privacy Crisis

Wozniak said he had been thinking for a while of deleting his account and made the move after several of his trusted friends deleted their Facebook accounts last week

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    Apple Co-Founder Deleting Facebook Account in Privacy Crisis
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    A file image of Steve Wozniak. Wozniak is shutting down his Facebook account as the social media giant struggles to cope with the worst privacy crisis in its history.

    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is shutting down his Facebook account as the social media giant struggles to cope with the worst privacy crisis in its history.

    In an email to USA Today, Wozniak said Facebook makes a lot of advertising money from personal details provided by users. He said the "profits are all based on the user's info, but the users get none of the profits back."

    Wozniak said he'd rather pay for Facebook.

    "Apple makes money off of good products, not off of you," he said.

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    In an interview late Monday in Philadelphia with The Associated Press, Wozniak said he had been thinking for a while of deleting his account and made the move after several of his trusted friends deleted their Facebook accounts last week.

    It's "a big hypocrisy not respecting my privacy when (Facebook CEO Mark) Zuckerberg buys all the houses around his and all the lots around his in Hawaii for his own privacy," Wozniak said. "He knows the value of it, but he's not looking after mine."

    A British data mining firm affiliated with Donald Trump's Republican presidential campaign gathered personal information from 87 million Facebook users to try to influence elections. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, has announced technical changes intended to address privacy issues.

    Zuckerberg has apologized, and Facebook's No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, has said she's sorry the company let so many people down.

    Zuckerberg will testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday about the company's ongoing data privacy scandal and how it failed to guard against other abuses of its service.

    Wozniak said he doesn't believe in the current system that Facebook can fix its privacy issues, saying he doesn't think Facebook is going to change its policies "for decades."

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    Wozniak said Apple Inc., based in Cupertino, California, has systems and policies that in many cases allow people to choose whether to share certain data. He said he doesn't foresee Apple not allowing the Facebook app to be bought or downloaded on its phones but said he does not make those decisions for the company.

    Other prominent supporters of the #DeleteFacebook effort include WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and celebrities including Cher, Rosie O'Donnell, Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey. 

    Carrey told CNBC he was also selling shares he owned in the company. 

    "We must encourage more oversight by the owners of these social media platforms," Carrey said. "This easy access has to be more responsibly handled. What we need now are activist investors to send a message that responsible oversight is needed. What the world needs now is capitalism with a conscience." 

    Playboy also said it was leaving the platform.

    Associated Press writer Claudia Lauer contributed to this report from Philadelphia.