Saturday, April 7, 2018
Facebook: If You Want PIVACY, Expect to PAY for It
Nicolas Vega and Ruth Brown
Want privacy on Facebook? Cough up some cash.
The social-media site plans to extort users who want to keep their personal data away from advertisers — by demanding they pay for the privilege, the company’s second in command, Sheryl Sandberg, revealed on Friday.
“We have different forms of opt-out. We don’t have an opt-out at the highest level,” the Facebook chief operating officer said in an interview on NBC’s “Today.”
“That would be a paid product.”
The 48-year-old billionaire’s stunning announcement came days after Facebook admitted that the private information of as many as 87 million users was leaked to data firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked on President Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
And don’t expect this to be the company’s last privacy scandal, Sandberg added.
“I’m not going to sit here and say that we’re not going to find more,” she said, “because we are.”
Sandberg admitted Facebook only recently began taking additional steps to secure user data, despite the leak first being discovered in December 2015. The site’s officials, she explained, were led to believe at the time that Cambridge Analytica deleted the harvested data on its own.
“We should have checked,” she conceded, skirting a question on whether the oversight was cause by “greed” or “incompetence.”
“They gave us assurances, and it wasn’t until other people told us it wasn’t true,” she said.
This, she said, was also why Facebook didn’t let users know their data had been compromised two years ago.
Sandberg denied that Facebook is a “surveillance operation” that turns its users into products by selling their data to advertisers.
“We don’t pass any individual information back to the advertiser,” she said.
To which interviewer Savannah Guthrie shot back, “You don’t have to pass it because you collect all the information and then you target the ads for the advertiser.”
“That’s right, and that’s a very good service,” Sandberg replied, stressing that it was for “small businesses.”
“We are not sweeping up data. People are inputting data. People are sharing data with Facebook.”
The sharing of data is essential for Facebook’s “social experiences,” like letting friends see your music playlist, she argued.
“There’s the good cases for sharing, and I think we were very idealistic and not rigorous enough,” she said.
She acknowledged that heads could “roll” for the breach — and that hers might be one of them.
“I serve at the pleasure of [CEO Mark Zuckerberg] and our board, and I will be here as long as they think I’m the right person to run this and to lead our response and to make sure that we can rebuild trust with people all over the world,” Sandberg said.
“But at the end of the day, the people we hold responsible are me and Mark.”
Zuckerberg is set to testify before Congress on the scandal next week. On Monday, Facebook will inform all users whose data may have been shared with the firm.
Facebook said on Wednesday that it would rewrite its terms of service to be more transparent about how it uses personal data.