Steve Jobs Tried Warning Mark Zuckerberg About Facebook’s Privacy Issues

(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Ever since his death in 2011 (and maybe even when he still walked the Earth), Steve Jobs achieved somewhat of a mythical status for his world-shaping intellect and vision. Given the trajectory of Apple since his death (have you seen their latest commercial advertising the ability to buy shit with your face?) it’s not hard to see why: Jobs, despite whatever personal shortcomings he may have had, was truly a visionary.

And apparently, his technological foresight was not only limited to Apple, as he had wise words for Facebook way back in 2010, warning that their privacy policy should be spelled out in “plain English and repeatedly.” In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, one has to imagine that Mark Zuckerberg is wishing he had headed Jobs’ warning.

Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital 2010 conference in Los Angeles, Jobs said that
‘privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly.” Zuckerberg was in the audience when jobs made the comment.

“I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data. A lot of people in the Valley think we’re really old-fashioned about this, and maybe we are, but we worry about stuff like this.”

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