- Monday, April 16, 2018 9:05 AM
San Francisco, 16 April 2018 (MIA) - Facebook increased its spending on security for Mark Zuckerberg by 50% last year, the company has disclosed, paying more than $7.3m (£5.1m) to protect its top executive.
The security funds were required “due to specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as our founder, chairman, and CEO,” the under-fire social media company said in a new filing to US regulators, The Guardian reports.
Facebook also said it spent more than $1.5m (£1m) on Zuckerberg’s travel aboard private jets in 2017, meaning that in all the company has spent about $20m on security and private planes for Zuckerberg since 2015.
Security measures at Zuckerberg’s home in California are paid for by the company, according to the filing, as well as bodyguards who accompany the 33-year-old on his travels outside Facebook’s headquarters.
“We require these security measures for the company’s benefit because of the importance of Mr Zuckerberg to Facebook, and we believe that the costs of this overall security program are appropriate and necessary,” the company said.
Zuckerberg has come under sharp criticism for his company’s role in the spread of disinformation and political propaganda online. Last week he faced 10 hours of questions from US congressional committees but escaped largely unscathed.
The hearings were prompted by the disclosure by the Observer that tens of millions of Facebook users had their data harvested by a researcher working with Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy hired by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that Zuckerberg continued to take a token $1 (70p) annual salary for his work at Facebook, which he founded as a student at Harvard University.
Zuckerberg’s fortune, which fluctuates with Facebook’s stock price, has recently totalled about $70bn (£49bn). He consistently appears in lists of the world’s top ten richest people.About $2.7m (£1.9m) was spent in 2017 on security for Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, according to the company. That total was only slightly higher than Sandberg’s security bill in 2016. sk/09:05
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