While attending the WeAreDevelopers World Congress in Vienna, Austria, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak expressed his concerns over privacy in the digital age.
In an interview with Business Insider during the WeAreDevelopers World Congress in Vienna, Austria, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak discussed modern user privacy particularly in relation to social media. Sabrina Hoffmann, the editor-in-chief of Business Insider Deutschland, asked Wozniak if he was disappointed in what technology had become in the wake of recent user data scandals and accusations of election manipulation. Wozniak replied:
I don’t know if those words are right. I’m bothered by what technology has become. Usually, I don’t let things bother me but what bothers me more than anything in the world is when technology goes bad. Because it ends up being on people like me, for creating something that turned out to not to be good and pure. I always want to put the human before the technology. In a company like Apple that made computers easy to use, I always thought that the user was more important than the technology. We put a lot of effort into letting people live their lives in a normal, human way.
But that “human way” is changing. We used to be able to have conversations in secret with people. If I were to say something to you in private now, others wouldn’t hear it — that isn’t the case anymore. We lost our security a long time ago. We’ve lost our privacy and it’s been abused. If I think I have a level of privacy that I don’t, that’s deceit. And that bothers me. I hit a limit. I can’t take that. It’s one step in a long series of steps that are all in the same direction.
Hoffman asked Wozniak about his opinion of recent comments made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who stated that German citizens shouldn’t be afraid of artificial intelligence and that having A.I. without data is like having “cows with no feed.” Wozniak stated that the chancellor misunderstood what A.I. is: “She doesn’t understand that Artificial Intelligence is not the same as the intelligence of the human brain. She thinks it is. If she thinks that we have to have big data to make decisions, that makes us far less human than evolution has led us to be.”
Hoffman asked Wozniak if he thought that progress could be made without data sharing, Wozniak replied: “Data sharing makes us subjects of others, of control. I don’t like that. I think people should be independent and free.”
Wozniak was also questioned about the EU’s recent crackdown on the tax rates of major corporations, Wozniak replied:
I think companies and wealthy people should pay the same taxes as ordinary working people. I’ve always paid my taxes. I’ve never done anything to hide money, nor have I ever moved it to other states. If I make money I am willing to pay my taxes. It’s a part of life. Apple or Google will never come close to paying the taxes I do for my own labor, via earned income tax. Wealthy companies and wealthy people pay governments, they bribe them and they make the rules. The rules allow them to make great wealth but not be taxed the same and I just think it’s wrong.
Read the full interview in Business Insider here.