back to article 'We don't want a camera in everyone's living room' says bloke selling cameras in living rooms. Zuckerberg, you moron

Facebook is not going to give people the option to pay it to stop gathering and selling their private information because it wouldn't be fair to those that can't afford it. That's the world according to its CEO Mark Zuckerberg who appeared unaware of one of the internet's oldest business models in conversation with Harvard law …

  1. Simon B-52

    Shurely shome mishtake ??

    "...Facebook ... morally and legally responsible ... intuitive."

    "...Facebook ... morally and legally responsible ... delusional."


  2. JohnFen Silver badge

    Pull the other one

    ""Are we going to let people pay to have different controls on data use than other people? And my answer to that is a hard no," the Zuck chucked, adding: "If I could buy my way out of ads and data collection it wouldn't be fair to those who can't.""

    And that's another great example of why using anything produced by Facebook or Facebook-adjacent companies and people is a "hard no" for me. Zuck and company are awful human beings.

    I don't believe for a minute that Zuckerberg gives two shits about what's "fair". He, and Facebook, only care about maximizing profit at all costs, regardless of how much damage they do -- let alone fairness.

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Pull the other one

      He, and Facebook, only care about maximizing profit at all costs

      If he were to allow richer people to opt out of data collection/sharing then he would be removing the very people that other advertisers pay Farcebook lots of $$ for - the ones who are likely to buy stuff via the Internet. The ones left will be those who generate little dosh and who are of little interest other advertisers.

      Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income - no one will pay to know about the poor guys.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income"

        Do you believe rich people buy a house, car or a boat because they've seen it on Facebook? LOL!

        Facebook & C. are probably far more useful to address middle and low income people, because first, there are more, and second, companies fight far more to get whatever share of their income (or debts..) they can spend.

        It's like TV, how much is made to appeal to the upper echelon of a society, and how much for the lower one - including ads? There's also a far bigger chance those people will spend more time on FB or watching TV, than people with far more money who can spend their time in many other ways.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income"

          I find it hard to believe that anyone buys things based on an ad they saw on Facebook. I'm not sure that a persons income has anything to do with it.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Depends on your definition of "ad"

            If you see a "sponsored story" about something that interests you, do you always look at the text above to see that it is a sponsored story? Do you refrain from clicking on it if you do, even if what it is about interests you? Maybe you do, but the vast majority of people do not.

            I see sponsored links for stuff like "25 amazing things you can buy on Amazon", and I've clicked on it a few times when the picture actually looks interesting. If I saw something I wanted, I'd buy it, and Amazon would have got their money's worth.

            Now imagine someone in the third world having to get by on a few dollars a day. There's nothing that could possibly be advertised that they would buy, because they don't have any disposable income. Even people a little higher up the ladder who do have a little disposable income, are by necessity a lot more careful with it than you or I have to be.

            OF COURSE advertising at rich people works far better than advertising at poor people, because rich people have money to spend. The definition of "rich" here, includes you and I. No one is talking about people who buy $1 million supercars, you aren't going to reach them via Facebook nor would such a thing be an impulse purchase even for a billionaire.

        2. alain williams Silver badge

          Re: "Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income"

          You have missed the point: Facebook will be able to tell the seller ''we know that the user is rich, you can show them the more expensive tat.''

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income"

          "Do you believe rich people buy a house, car or a boat because they've seen it on Facebook?"

          Maybe not houses and cars but the advertisers presumably believe that they'll respond to adverts and as rich people buy more stuff in general and more expensive brands that's why they'll pay to advertise at them. Whether the ads justify the money spent is another matter but remember Facebook is part of the advertising industry and the advertising industry doesn't sell houses, cars and boats. It doesn't sell phones or trainers. It doesn't sell soap powder. It sells advertising. Only advertising. And all it has to do is to persuade advertisers to buy advertising. What people buy because they see it on Facebook is irrelevant.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income"

            You'll need a different type of influencer for rich people, and probably it's not in a computer. Rich people are addressed in a different way than middle and low income people. Often, face-to-face...

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: "Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income"

              Let me make it plainer. The advertising industry - and that includes FB don't need to influence (if you prefer) any members of the public, rich, middle or poor. All they need to influence are the people who buy advertising and all they need to influence them to do is buy more advertising, preferably at higher prices.

              1. the Jim bloke Silver badge

                Re: "Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income"

                Dont forget, its not products that FB are selling, its the access to markets, supposedly 'targeted'. As a parasite on advertisers you would think that makes them the enemy of my enemy - but I still wont Friend them... Its more in the nature of a rancher, his animals, - and the grass they feed on.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income"

                Sorry, you need to meet more rich people. Sellers (and their advertiser) know exactly how to reach them, and it's not through systems designed "for the masses", or the "plebs", if you prefer.

                Some "rich" people could be used by sellers and advertisers on the same systems in the hope to sell something to the "masses" (or plebs), sure - actually, it looks "influencers" work - but for them the system works than the other way round - rich people are paid (so they get even richer) to appear on FB or the like - so why they should go away from systems that makes them richer?

            2. DougS Silver badge

              "Rich people" in this sense aren't megamillionaires

              They are people like you and me. We're both probably in the 1% on a worldwide basis.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "Rich people" in this sense aren't megamillionaires

                "Rich" means "rich" - for a given country - I guess most "average income" people, "middle class" ones aren't ready to pay to not be tracked by FB (and how many such "services" should you pay then???? Just set up one to collect money from those who don't want to be tracked???).

                And those are the bulk of people advertiser target using systems like FB. For luxury goods, they will send personal invitation to look at them and try them.

                While "rich" people - upper class one, and the very reach one, could probably do - just like many of them pay not to appear on the National Enquirer or the like.

        4. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: "Remove the few rich guys and Farcebook will lose most of its income"

          Do they buy a particular brand of makeup because an Instagram influencer recommended it?

          Or I'm sure there are equivalently priced things that men buy.

          People have bought binary options on Bitcoin on the strength of a fake endorsement from Martin Lewis advertised on Facebook (note, he most definitely did not endorse it).

          Yes. And Instagram is owned by Facebook.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do people think this guy is so smart?

    Is it really just the money?

    I mean, listen to the things he says and how he speaks. This is not a bright guy. His word choice reminds me of a 6th grader who discovered a thesaurus on the bookshelf.

    1. Starace

      Re: Why do people think this guy is so smart?

      I guess some people think he might be clever and talented.

      The truth is he got lucky.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Why do people think this guy is so smart?

        It's not only luck - it's lack of any ethics also. You don't build such kind of sites over and over, starting with stealing women photos to "vote" on them, if you're not inherently crooked. He found he wasn't alone, and in the internet Far West it worked.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Why do people think this guy is so smart?

      Do they? I haven't seen anything about him that hints that he's dumber than normal, but I equally haven't seen anything about him that indicates that he's smarter than normal.

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Why do people think this guy is so smart?

      I got to "our self-image of ourselves" and it confirmed all I need to know about him...

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Why do people think this guy is so smart?

      "His word choice reminds me of a 6th grader who discovered a thesaurus on the bookshelf."

      Or he spends many hours with his PR people creating plausible sounding answers to whatever questions they think may come up.

  4. M.V. Lipvig

    Pay YOU?

    No, I want you to pay ME for my data, and I want 100,000USD per year for it. If you don't want to pay me, then you need to not be stealing my information. Facebook does NOT have my permission to gather information about me, nor does anyone else have the right to authorize you to collect it meaning if someone else puts my information into their account, you still aren't allowed to collect it. And no, it is not my problem if you can't keep it out.

    Man I wish there was a way to legally claim my information is mine and nobody else is allowed to collect it without my express permission.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Pay YOU?

      > my information is mine

      I fear that ship has sunk already. Between those who don't see the problem, and the hordes of expensive lawyers working on the details, the only defense are the regulators, who mostly just want to see how they can get a piece of the cake too...

      (I mean, even the shop where I was getting my hair cut has decided it needed my birth date, my income and my marital status. I decided to keep my hair on and walked away.)

      1. Oengus Silver badge

        Re: Pay YOU?

        Easy - I was born on the 29 Feb 1963, my annual salary is $1 and my marital status is subject to change. When people ask me for my mobile number I give them 0406 650 430.

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: Pay YOU?

          I was born on the 29 Feb 1963

          That's not how it works. They analyze your behaviour. They don't care if you're a millennial, provided you behave like a millennial, they can sell you stuff like a millennial - or pensioner, or MAGA hat wearer, or whatever. They may use data you provide for contractual purposes (eg to decide whether you're old enough to get onto the site), but it's what you do online that makes you who you are for marketing purposes. And who you interact with. And who they interact with. And so on. You really can't opt out of all of that by changing your phone number.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: Pay YOU?

            And they match you to your friends, who have you in their contacts book which they made available to Facebook, so they get your phone number that way.

      2. TimMaher

        Re: Pay YOU?

        “Almost Cut My Hair” - Crosby, Stills & Nash. The paranoia line is soooo accurate.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      That's why people should not pay - by law

      I don't want me data slurped for any sum. But he's right, poor people deserve the same protection as rich ones - thereby data slurping needs to be simply illegal.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: That's why people should not pay - by law

        Why?! Says who? Who gets to judge this? Why do Poor people who probably have to chose between a DSL Line, or a Tin of Cat Food. Are somehow in more need of protection. Then anyone else who just wants FB to Fork the hell off!

        As someone here has already pointed out. Its not in FB's intrest to let those that could afford to, opt out. As its with almost certainty to only those very People would the Advertisers have anything bordering a wish to adreess / annoy.

        As Adams was once to have remarked, in a Galaxy of mostly well to do's, nobody was really poor... At least nobody worth counting..... (Facebooks very hot take on this subject.)

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: That's why people should not pay - by law

          Do you mean rights should be available only to those able to pay? Privacy is a right . especially since without it you can't have freedom. Laws are created to protect rights.

          Companies like Facebook have shown they can break rights on a very broad scale - and could get the money to even pay some dollars to poor people so they sell their rights - which was exactly what the application blocked by Apple did.

          The wold is not simply black and white, there won't be only rich people who could opt out (and why should I give a private company money for not being tracked???? It looks like mafia - "pay, or else"), and poor people who can't, so all the rich ones will go away and the rest are of no value - there would be many shades of gray - and many would have still value for advertisers, influencers, and political propaganda - unless you also revoke the right to vote to poor people as well.

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: That's why people should not pay - by law

            Do I mean? Ughh HELL YES. But, if you found House of a Sugar daddy to front your ISP Bill. Then good on you Sir. Most of us have to take it from our own Pockets. Luckily for me I've never had to actually make a choice between my ISP, or a Tin of Cat Food. Probably ',cause I have get the **** up every morning and swing my ass to work like everyone else, without this problem.

    3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Pay YOU?

      Agree with the sentiment, but nobody's forcing you to use the product. Having your data scraped is the price you pay for a 'free' product - if you don't want it, don't use it.

      It's one of the reasons I use iPhone instead of Android. The phones are more expensive, but at least you know what the business model is; rather than having a 'cheap' phone which is partially paid for by you being the product.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Pay YOU?

        It would be true if Facebook wasn't building so called "shadow profiles" of users who never used the product and never will. Even if you got an iPhone...

        There's also the issue if someone else force you to use a Facebook (or Google, etc.) product, say a school using Google's products and maybe asking you to join a WhatsApp chat to be notified as a parent. Sometimes, even your employer.

        Being in a dominant position, you could have little choices.

      2. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Pay YOU?

        Yes they are, there is no way to opt out. I've never had a FB account, but according to friends who do, all my info is all over that place. Try opting out of several things and you'll find out, nope, can't do.

        Equifax, opt out even if you don't use credit - ever.

        In fact, I just found out I can't even open a MySocialSecurity account if I haven't used credit in the last 7 years - the government uses those entities to prove I even exist. It's much worse than you think.

        OPM - my security clearance forms/records which were insanely invasive even compared to the above.

        I could go on to other things you can't opt out of from license plate readers to phone metadata, but I think you get my point. Tried voting? While it's surely possible to do without ID or a driver's license here, it's a lot harder in places well away from the borders.

        Even if you trust all those people, what about them being hacked, as they all have been?

        Note I'm mentioning things that have been in the news as they've been hacked and already lost your info to ??? - never to be gotten back or erased. Opt out of that.

        Please tell me how, short of death of myself and all of my family, how to opt out of any of that. Surely you aren't this ignorant of how things really work! Nice theory, but it has nothing to do with practice in this case and hasn't for quite a long time.

    4. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Pay YOU?

      "Man I wish there was a way to legally claim my information is mine and nobody else is allowed to collect it without my express permission."

      Yep, there we have it in one easy sentance, explaining why politicians the world over have failed to protect the people they think they represent.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Pay YOU?

        "explaining why politicians the world over have failed to protect the people they think they represent."

        Don't be silly! Politicians represent EXACTLY the people they think/know they represent! With extremely rare exception (and becoming rarer, alas), politicians world-wide represent THEMSELVES, and nobody else.

  5. dbtx Bronze badge


    what- that's-

    Egad, I had no idea that was a thing! (a good sign, all by itself)

    Do you realize what this means?

    the Foobcake is a lie

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Is there any place on the Web you can go (Russia and China excluded) that doesn't have that silly "F" somewhere on the page? They get our data whether we use FB or not. Thus, if they offered a "pay us and we won't track you" option, a lot of us who don't use it would still have our data collected.

    1. PerlyKing

      That silly "F" somewhere on the page

      I rarely see the silly "F" these days. And that should continue for as long as uBlock works, and my email clients don't load images automatically.

      I must be doing something right, as I recently got an actual paper letter from my credit card company saying that they're concerned that I haven't opened any of their emails recently. In fact I have opened all of them, but I haven't allowed any images to be displayed.

      1. N2 Silver badge

        Re: That silly "F" somewhere on the page

        Excellent work, I block em all.

  7. ST Silver badge

    Does Zuckerberg even understand the concept of 'lying'?

    Lying as meaning knowingly not telling the truth.

    I honestly don't think he does.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Does Zuckerberg even understand the concept of 'lying'?

      No, and I'd wish he had a nose like Pinocchio. It would have reached Mars, by now.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Does Zuckerberg even understand the concept of 'lying'?

        At least useful as a space elevator, then?

  8. jake Silver badge

    "Does he get that?"

    Probably not. So ... Hey, Zuck, we don't trust you, your company, or anything else that you have your finger in. We want nothing to do with you and yours. In fact, if you were to take a long drive off a short pier and your heirs were to dissolve all the companies under your control, we'd party. I mean this in the most sincere way possible.

    Somehow I suspect that'll fall on deaf ears, if his handlers allow him to see the message. And that's a mighty big if. The dimwit is entirely divorced from reality, and they like it that way.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: "Does he get that?"

      if you were to take a long drive off a short pier

      As long as the body is recovered and buried, I'm OK with that.

      Because I want to erect a memorial latrine over the grave. And make a mint from the beer concession next to it.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: "Does he get that?"

        Because I want to erect a memorial latrine over the grave.

        Memorial latrine and dance hall, surely?

  9. LDS Silver badge

    "Yep, that's right Mark. So glad you finally got there"

    No, he just understood he have to get rid of Apple controlling what applications Facebook could run....

  10. Michael Habel Silver badge

    One of the few pet peeves I have

    Are with Idiots that feel the moral fortitude to pander to the lowest common denominator. I always fee a seething urge to ask these Morons to please point me to the Stone upon which it is carved by <INSERT DEITY HERE> him/her/its -self; That life was always ment to be far.

    The simple fact is life is anything but, far Mr. Zuck! If life was soooo far than please praytell us why isnt everyone able to enjoy a nice Face***k session from say from any of the Worlds finest S**thole Countries?


  11. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Thanks, but no thanks

    The world has already an orange tinted moron in one of the top political positions thanks to this "intuitive" social medium. We should do something about it before our civilization is utterly destroyed.

  12. The Central Scrutinizer

    Is Zuckerberg even self aware?

    The constant promises to "do better next time...." bla bla bla don't wash with anyone anymore. He's like a child who makes promise after promise with no actual intention of carrying any of them out.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had no idea

    that Mark Z was such a socialist.

    Presumably his children go to state run schools?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I had no idea

      As most communists, he believes in the motto "what is yours is mine, what is mine is mine"

  14. blue-eyes

    What is Zuuckerberg?

    He's a cyborg., a robot. No morals. One dimensional intelligence. One simple aim.

  15. Loatesy

    Zuckerberg reminds me of Sean Pertwee's character 'Father' in the film "Equillibrium".

    We've all seen him on Youtube and video clips, but does anyone actually know anyone personally who has actually seen him in real life?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But you can't help but wonder whether Mark Zuckerberg is completely oblivious to what his own company is doing and how people feel about it. Just because he trusts a corporation in which he retains majority control and enjoys the enormous wealth and power it affords him doesn't mean that everyone else does. Does he get that? Quite possibly not.

    No, no, no, no - he doesn't get to walk away like that. It starts with the initial concept and idea that was already dodgy enough, and it continues with the many, many misdeeds afterwards which resulted in legal consequences. There is no way on earth that Zuck isn't intimately aware of the misdeeds of his organisation - especially since Zuck himself has nicely isolated himself from being visible (apparently to the point of buying out neighbours where he lives).

    That seems to be the key to retaining your privacy: violating everyone else's. It works for Facebook and Google - try getting any data on the executives of either company.

  17. Rudolph Hucker the Third

    At the risk of being heavily down-voted by El Reg moderators, I can't help wondering why the El Reg team keeps posting articles like these. While all the time every page has an icon at the top of the page for people to "Like us on Facebook".

    If the Register is so aware of Facebook's sociopathic tendencies, why does it still willingly associate itself with that beast in any way?

    It is cognitive dissonance? Or, perhaps, are these articles just click-bait?

    1. Tree
      Black Helicopters

      Re: the Third

      If you want to know why theregister has FaceBUTT bugs to like, Follow the money. They can be blocked.

  18. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    I can't say why but Facebook reminds me of the movie Soylent Green.

  19. Long John Silver

    Facebook shall be sidelined and collapse

    Facebook's business model is fragile. It is built on straw. Facebook sells advertising linked to a 'free' service for its subscribers. Its 'product' is an intangible just like so-called 'intellectual property'. Valuation of the company is more faith-based than grounded in sound accountancy; unlike a maker of physical widgets there is little to show of identifiable assets to be sold off when insolvency hits. Facebook's assets rest primarily with some software patents and with 'goodwill'; its buildings are most likely mainly rented and its computer hardware, perhaps not all owned outright, would be scrap upon company failure,

    'Goodwill' (aka desirable brand name), which would figure hugely as an asset if Facebook were to become target of business takeover, is no more stable than mist. Unless constantly worked at it dissipates as quickly as mist. At present, Facebook's owners appear set on actions generating a breeze. A light breeze is sufficient to dispel mist and, once gone, it cannot be conjured back.

    Facebook's 'intellectual property' assets are of negligible worth too in the world beyond the USA. Software patents, rightly, are not universally recognised; most 'protect' trivia and those that don't ought be ignored (worked around in the USA) because to do otherwise impedes technological development.

    In fact there is little stopping competitors possessing integrity from starting up, especially beyond the USA. These need not be commercial, this evident from the ease with which peer to peer distributed networks independent of standard Internet protocols are arising. Collapse of Facebook, to be followed later by Twitter, Google, Apple, and Microsoft (the last mentioned two through inertia leading to premature senility) is on the cards.

    One thing is certain. Upon its collapse major shareholders in Facebook will walk away unscathed with their fortunes; this assuming they have taken the precaution of surreptitiously diverting their holdings into other more stable assets. Facebook shall have served a useful purpose. It will bring home a truth as yet unrecognised by people lauding the virtues of Internet behemoths founded upon 'intellectual property' and other intangibles: what they do can be done better by 'cottage industries' formed from independent communication networks. In essence, culture (to which Facebook and Twitter loosely belong) is better served by citizen publishers sharing their skills than by division of humanity into owners and passive 'consumers'.

  20. Tree

    Follow the money

    FaceBUTT ought to pay us, because we are valuable. I would gladly pay for a solution to being tracked. Wall Street Journal says apps are giving our secrets to

    faceBUTT, Like location, menstruation, health, religion, sexual preferences, They thought I am queer, or something. How much do they pay for that? Follow the money.

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