Facebook Pays $20 M to Keep Mark Zuckerberg Safe - Is Sky The Limit When It Comes To His Security?

source: Wikimedia Commons

If you thought you are the only one who did not realize your New Year's resolutions, think about Mark Zuckerberg. He started 2018 with a bang, promising to fix Facebook. 

Instead, in the following twelve months, the company made it to the headlines with data privacy scandals, Cambridge Analytica, Russian trolls, Myanmar violence, and more. 

As Mark Zuckerberg is synonymous with Facebook, he got a lot of public backlashes, which is why the company decided to increase his security budget significantly.

According to the last financial filings, the social media platform has allocated him $20 million for security purposes, four times up from the $ 5.1 million in 2016. The amount also includes $2.6 million for personal use of private aircraft, as a part of his overall security program, the regulatory filings showed.

As one of the most-recognized tech executives in the world, his security team includes more than 70 people. Armed guards stand in front of his home to protect his family. In addition to that, if Zuckerberg wants to go out to a restaurant, a security team inspects it beforehand.

There is also a guard standing at the front of his office or a meeting room to ensure no one would try to rush him. The guards in the office do not stand out from the crowd, explained from the company. They wear casual, civilian clothing to mix with the rest of the employees.

 Zuckerberg has a proven track record with stalkers in the past, said from Facebook highlighting that many of them got restraint orders.

The Facebook security team also protects COO Sheryl Sandberg. Her security costs amounted to $ 3 million last year, Business Insider reported.

Zuckerberg's sharp increase in security costs came after he had to deal with public outcry over the role of Facebook in the spread of fake news, disinformation, and political propaganda online. 

The turbulent 2018 started with the special counsel Robert Mueller indictment showing how 13 employees of Russia's Internet Research Agency created fake profiles on Facebook and Instagram to set Americans against each other before the 2016 Presidential elections.

In March 2018, the United Nations highlighted the role of Facebook in enabling the spread of fake news about the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar who are being systematically slaughtered.

Also in March, the Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal broke to raise important questions about data privacy. Mark Zuckerberg admitted the company accessed up to 87 million users' data. He is still struggling to answer the question where all these data went. 

Given the challenging year, do you think that a security budget of $20 million is justified?