The New Zealand Herald
Facebook chief confirms pay-for-privacy proposal
Facebook has opened the door to potentially charging users to not receive advertisements based on what they have shared with friends on the social media platform.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the contentious strategy to possibly make Facebook users pay for their privacy at yesterday’s appearance before US lawmakers and said his biggest regret was not acting sooner to stop Russia using his platform to try to influence foreign elections.
Senator Bill Nelson asked how Facebook users who did not wish to see targeted ads, such as their favour- ite type of chocolate, could stop the product placements from flooding their feed.
“Are you actually considering having Facebook users pay for you to not use that information?” Nelson asked.
“To not run ads at all we would need some kind of business model,” Zuckerberg replied.
“I am going to have to pay you not to send me, using my personal information, something that I don’t want?” Nelson asked. “Yes, senator,” Zuckerberg replied. “You consider my personally identifiable data the company’s data and not my data, is that it?” the senator asked, to which Zuckerberg answered no. Zuckerberg said an ad- free product did not yet exist.
The only way for Facebook to remain a viable business was to run advertisements or charge for use, he said.
It’s a step back from his previous pledge that the platform would always be free.
Zuckerberg’s comments follow media appearances by Facebook chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg, who said Facebook could look into a model that allowed some users to pay for not seeing ads.