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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defends use of personal data in WSJ op-ep

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Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, defending his company once again, and hitting out at “misreported” claims that the social network sells user data.

The article, which is just over 1,000 words long, seeks to explain the reasoning behind Facebook’s targeted advertising model and clear up confusion around its handling of people’s personal information.

Zuckerberg said that the lack of a price tag on Facebook’s service has become an area of “complexity” when it comes to trying to understand its business model.

“In an ordinary transaction, you pay a company for a product or service they provide,” he wrote. “Here you get our services for free — and we work separately with advertisers to show you relevant ads. This model can feel opaque, and we’re all distrustful of systems we don’t understand.”

Zuckerberg added: “Sometimes this means people assume we do things that we don’t do. For example, we don’t sell people’s data, even though it’s often reported that we do.”

The company has become the target of much criticism over the way it handles people’s personal information in the wake of revelations last year that it allowed political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to gain access to the data of 87 million people.

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