Woz drops Facebook, willing to pay for ad-free option

He may not be as high-profile as the late Steve Jobs, but "the other Steve" Apple co-founder does leave an impression whenever he speaks. Especially when says that he's leaving Facebook. Steve "Woz" Wozniak is just the latest tech pioneer and luminary to drop the social network and voice concern over the mishandling of data and users. But unlike others, he's not completely deleting his Facebook account just yet.

Like many high-profile tech personalities such as Elon Musk, Woz has taken issue over Facebook's shenanigans when it comes to the privacy of user information. Facebook already admitted its failure in properly handling the Cambridge Analytica case, but it was really just the tipping point of a practice and culture that has been ongoing for years.

In his email to USA Today, the Apple co-founder echoed Apple CEO Tim Cook's criticism of Facebook. Woz iterates that Apple makes money off good products, and those products aren't the users. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's response was to call Cook's comments "extremely glib".

That, however, doesn't change the fact that Facebook does generate profit from advertisements, not unlike Google, which Woz also criticized in the past. Woz said that he would actually be willing to pay a fee to be able to have his personal data protected from ads while still continuing to use Facebook. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg just recently stated that Facebook users should pay for the option to not have data-tracking ads.

Curiously, Woz isn't quitting Facebook cold turkey. He simply deactivated his account but didn't delete it. He wants to keep his stevewoz handle and doesn't want anyone else getting a hold of it. This does bring an interesting angle to the exodus of Facebook users, which could potentially mean that dozens of Facebook usernames could someday be reused by other people for less than innocent purposes.