According to Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google collect far more information on their users than Facebook. “It's just that they're collecting that about you behind your back,” he said during an appearance on the Charlie Rose show Monday night.
“...They're collecting this huge amount of information about you and you never know that.” Facebook itself has faced harsh criticism for collecting too much information about their users, and so it may come as somewhat of a surprise to hear Zuckerberg say that Facebook actually handles users' privacy better than other companies.
“I think it's really about control. The real question for me is do people have the tools that they need in order to make those decisions well? I think that these companies with those big ad networks are basically getting away with collecting huge amounts of information.” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that whereas Microsoft and other companies allow users little control as to what type of information is collected and how that information is shared, Facebook is “the most privacy-focused place for anyone to share anything.”
While some will no doubt disagree with Zuckerberg's statements, both about other companies and Facebook's own policies, he does manage to raise a good point. Just how much data do corporations collect about us when we don't even know about it? If we could look into the files of some of the major advertising firms and, yes, Facebook, we might be shocked to find what a detailed profile of ourselves we might find. Just a few years ago, this might have been unthinkable, but today we regularly submit ourselves to being tracked and profiled every time we log on to certain websites. They know who we are, where we are, what we like and, yes, what we did last summer.
Image courtesy of PCMag