Mark Zuckerberg gets taste of privacy invasion as New York Times reports the contents of his trash


Mark Zuckerberg

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got a taste of privacy invasion very close to home over the weekend.
  • The New York Times reported the contents of his trash after following San Francisco garbage picker Jake Orta in an affluent suburb of the city.
  • Items retrieved from Zuckerberg’s trash included a working coffee machine, A&W diet root beer, and Chinese takeout boxes.

Mark Zuckerberg has been battling a string of privacy scandals at Facebook, but this weekend, he might well be contemplating a privacy breach even closer to home.

After millions of Facebook users had their data exploited by Cambridge Analytica in 2016, the contents of Zuckerberg’s trash has been scraped and reported on by The New York Times.

In an interview with the Times on Sunday, trash picker Jake Orta — who lives three blocks from Zuckerberg in a single-window apartment — described how he rummages through San Francisco garbage bins for items to sell.

Among his targets, is a blue recycling bin and a black landfill bin outside the Facebook CEO’s $10 million home in the west coast city. According to the Times, items retrieved by Orta from Zuckerberg’s garbage include:

  • A working coffee machine
  • A working vacuum cleaner
  • A hairdryer, again in working order
  • A&W diet root beer cans
  • Junk mail
  • The remains of a chicken dinner
  • A stale baguette
  • Chinese takeout boxes

At one point, Orta pulls apart a black bag and says: “Just junk — nothing in there.” As the Times points out, Orta and others are apparently undeterred by the fact that trash picking is illegal in the state of California.

Read more:‘Lawmakers often tell me we have too much power over speech, and frankly I agree’: Mark Zuckerberg calls for more outside regulation over the internet

For Zuckerberg, the experience might serve as a reminder as to why he wants to pivot Facebook to privacy and prioritise the personal information of his billions of users.

In recent weeks, Zuckerberg has attempted to address criticism of Facebook, making the case for end-to-end encryption and calling for more regulation, including “effective privacy and data protection.”

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