Zuckerberg's “facts about Facebook” - the peak of hypocrisy

In a guest article, the Facebook CEO defends Facebook's data collection practices and claims that users now have more control. His statements, however, show that he does not understand the basic problem.

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Bjoern Greif January 25, 2019

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In a guest contribution for the Wall Street Journal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defends the advertising-based business model of his company and once again claims that Facebook gives its users more control. “You control whether we use your data for advertising,” writes Zuckerberg. The only question is why users can’t control whether Facebook is allowed to collect data or not.

“If Zuckerberg was really serious, he would give users the ability to turn off the monitoring of their activities on websites and apps,” comments Cliqz CEO Marc Al-Hames. “Everything else is hypocrisy.”

Facebook monitors nearly 25 percent of all web traffic

Facebook tracking scripts monitor almost a quarter (24.1 percent) of all Internet traffic according to current statistics from WhoTracks.me. In other words: Big F intercepts every forth web page you load. The social network collects data about users outside its platform, which inevitably results in shadow profiles of non-members. Zuckerberg does not say a word about this in his guest article – he took the same approach during the hearings before the US Congress and representatives of the European Parliament last year.

He also conceals that the “control options” are only available to Facebook members. If you’ve never opened a Facebook account and do not use any of its services, you will still be tracked by Facebook without ever having agreed to it. Non-members cannot even view the data collected by Facebook or request its deletion. So if you want to have your data deleted, you first have to log in to Facebook and disclose further data!

Flimsy justification for comprehensive tracking

As an explanation for the comprehensive collection of data on and off the Facebook platform, Zuckerberg once again puts forward security reasons in his guest article. “That information is generally important for security and operating our services as well. […] We don’t let people control how we use this information for security or operating our services,” he states.

To detect bots or fraudulent login attempts, third-party tracking is probably helpful, but not needed at all. A company like Facebook certainly can find less invasive methods to strengthen security.

All in all, Zuckerberg’s statements once again prove that he obviously doesn’t care about or simply doesn’t understand the concept of privacy.


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