Nix the Zuck Sez the Woz

Our own SB has ditched Facebook and put up a handy how-to for the rest of us who want to follow suit.

As it turns out, all the smart kids are thinking alike.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak took time out of his day to warn us all to delete Facebook. Permanently.

The co-founder stopped to talk to TMZ at Reagan National Airport earlier this week, and told cameras that he’s genuinely worried about privacy.

“There are many different kinds of people, and [for] some the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” Wozniak told TMZ.

“But to many like myself, my recommendation is – to most people – you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.”

This is a particularly significant development because Wozniak is not exactly a right-winger. But, while his general political stance seems pretty much in keeping with right-on Bay Area leftism, Wozniak has also been a consistent defender of liberty, free speech and privacy.

Three weeks after Facebook’s part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal was revealed, Wozniak deleted his Facebook account.

In case you’ve forgotten – and too many seem to – four years ago, Facebook was caught out selling our private information, without permission, to political campaigners. That’s only the beginning of Facebook’s Orwellian enormity. Now, as SB also reports, Facebook is openly sanctioning violence against people it deems “dangerous”. No prizes for guessing exactly who those people tend to be.

It’s not just Facebook, either. Google’s famous “Don’t be evil” motto now stands revealed as some kind of sick exercise in meta-irony.

“Who knows if my mobile phone’s listening right now. Alexa has already been in the news a lot.”

“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.”

But there are ways, and, as it turns out, Wozniak’s solution is also the same as implied by SB, who wrote that “This kind of surveillance can only happen if I give up my privacy to social media companies in exchange for easy access to various online things”. So, the solution is to keep your privacy by being prepared to pay a little for services. The “internet-of-free” was a utopian ideal that was never going to stand up to the harsh reality of rapacious Silicon Valley plutocrats. Call it a Kuznets Curve of the internet.

What’s the tech pioneer’s solution to the problem with big tech and data breaches?

Give us the choice to pay more for our privacy.

“Let me pay a certain amount, and you’ll keep my data more secure and private than everybody else handing it to advertisers.”

Which, as it happens, is exactly the model that Jordan Peterson, along with Dave Rubin, Carl Benjamin and Michael Shermer, are proposing with ThinkSpot.