Zuckerberg defends Facebook data practices in op-ed

Zuckerberg defends Facebook data practices in op-ed
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Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day A book can explain why Elizabeth Warren's ideas bother billionaires so much Facebook says it removed millions of posts over hate speech, child exploitation violations MORE defended his company's business practices in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Friday that comes after a slew of controversies over the social media giant's handling of user data.

Zuckerberg said that his company works to make sure users have honest and easy-to-understand guidelines on how their data is used by Facebook and advertisers on the platform.

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"We give people complete control over whether we use this information for ads, but we don’t let them control how we use it for security or operating our services," the Facebook CEO wrote in the Journal op-ed. "And when we asked people for permission to use this information to improve their ads as part of our compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, the vast majority agreed because they prefer more relevant ads.

"Ultimately, I believe the most important principles around data are transparency, choice and control. We need to be clear about the ways we’re using information, and people need to have clear choices about how their information is used," he added.

Zuckerberg went on to deny accusations that Facebook sells user data to advertisers, which he argued would "reduce the unique value of our service to advertisers."

"We don’t sell people’s data, even though it’s often reported that we do. In fact, selling people’s information to advertisers would be counter to our business interests," Zuckerberg wrote.

"Another question is whether we leave harmful or divisive content up because it drives engagement. We don’t," he added.

Zuckerberg and his company have faced strong criticism over Facebook's past relationship with Cambridge Analytica, the data firm used by the Trump campaign in 2016. Facebook revealed last year that the firm had gained access to millions of Facebook users' data without their knowledge or consent.

The platform has also seen scrutiny from lawmakers on Capitol Hill over advertisements and posts created by Russian intelligence agents operating fake profiles during the 2016 election. The special counsel probe has indicted Russians alleged to have been working on those misinformation campaigns.