FACEBOOK has quadrupled the amount of money it spends to keep Mark Zuckerberg safe since 2016.
It comes after a year of public shame for the Facebook boss, who has dealt with a series of privacy scandals that left hundreds of millions of users exposed.
In a recent financial filing, it emerged that Facebook had spent $22.6million (~£17.3million) on Zuck’s “personal security” in 2018.
That’s more than double the $9.1million (~£6.9million) spent in 2017.
And it’s more than quadruple Facebook’s spend on Zuckerberg security in 2016, which was a lowly $4.9million (~£3.7million).
Facebook blamed the rising costs on “specific threats to [Zuckerberg’s] safety”.
The billionaire boss’s security arrangements are reassessed each year to make sure he’s not at any risk.
But Facebook reckons the threat to Mark Zuckerberg is increasing year on year.
“Since the implementation of Mr Zuckerberg’s overall security program, each of these assessments has identified specific threats to Mr Zuckerberg as a result of the high-profile nature of being our founder,” Facebook wrote.
So why is Facebook worried about Mark Zuckerberg?
The firm’s theory isn’t wrong: Mark Zuckerberg is being directly associated with the dodgy antics of Facebook itself.
Last year, Facebook was caught giving access to private user info without their permission.
And the company even made a security blunder that gave hackers an open door into tens of millions of user accounts.
Zuckerberg, unsurprisingly, is catching much of the flak.
“We believe that Mr Zuckerberg’s role puts him in a unique position: he is synonymous with Facebook and, as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr Zuckerberg,” Facebook explained.
The firm added: “Mr Zuckerberg is one of the most-recognised executives in the world.”
Who is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook?
Here's what you need to know…
- Mark Zuckerberg is the chairman, CEO and co-founder of social networking giant Facebook
- Born in New York in 1984, Zuckerberg already had a “reputation as a programming prodigy” when he started college
- While at Harvard, Zuckerberg launched a site called Face Mash, on which students ranked the attractiveness of their classmates
- Harvard shut the site down after its popularity crashed a network and Zuckerberg later apologised saying it was “completely improper”
- The following term he began working on an early version of Facebook
- The 33-year-old launched the social network from his dorm room on February 4, 20o4 with the help of fellow students
- The friends would end up embroiled in legal disputes as they challenged Zuckerberg for shares in the company
- Zuckerberg also faced action from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, as well as Divya Narendra who claimed he had stolen their idea – the disagreement was later turned into the film, The Social Network
- The tech prodigy dropped out of Harvard to focus on Facebook, but received an honorary degree in 2017
- Speaking about the site to Wired magazine in 2010 he said: “The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open”
- By 2012 Facebook had one billion users. By June 2017 it had reached two billion users every month
Facebook admitted that the company spends money on security at Zuckerberg’s residences, as well as during personal travel.
This includes paying for security costs for his family, too.
And it also includes a $2.6million (~£1.98million) spend on private jets for Zuckerberg and his pals.
“Mr Zuckerberg uses private aircraft for personal travel in connection with his overall security program.
“On certain occasions, Mr Zuckerberg may be accompanied by guests when using private aircraft.”
Facebook said that increased costs in 2018 were due to “regular personal travel, additional residential security coverage, and market increases in the costs of security personnel”.
“Our compensation and governance committee believes that these costs are appropriate and necessary in light of the threat landscape, and the fact that Mr Zuckerberg has requested to receive only $1 in annual salary and does not receive any bonus payments, equity awards or other incentive compensation,” Facebook added.
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Mark Zuckerberg’s security bill quadrupled to £17million a year as Facebook warns of ‘specific threats to his safety’