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Letter: Facebook CEO’s Hypocrisy

To the Editor:

You published a Bloomberg News article in your Nov. 26 edition about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg headlined, “Facebook’s Zuckerberg: U.S. ‘Really Blew It’ on Surveillance.” This is surely a grossly hypocritical statement. Facebook “mines” its users’ personal data to its own advantage. Facebook’s short-lived Beacon Program, which it launched in 2007, somehow managed to share users’ confidential information without their permission. This resulted in a successful class action suit against the company, and eventually the Supreme Court ruling in the Marek v. Lane case about how the money paid by Facebook was distributed.

Most of your readers are too young to recognize the word “Stasi,” the East German secret police, but certain aspects of the way that Big Data companies such as Facebook operate today are reminiscent of that agency.

Don Watson

White River Junction

Related

Facebook’s Zuckerberg: U.S. ‘Really Blew It’ on Surveillance

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Washington — The U.S. government “really blew it” on conducting surveillance programs that riled foreign leaders and domestic skeptics, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a television interview. “They’re continuing to blow it in some ways and I hope they become more transparent,” Zuckerberg, 29, said on ABC’s This Week. “These things are always in balance, in terms …