California (Web Desk): Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg has said that targeting ads based on interests was different from selling people's data.
"If we're committed to serving everyone, then we need a service that is affordable to everyone," Zuckerberg said in an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal.
"The best way to do that is to offer services for free, which ads enable us to do."
Selling user data would not only undermine essential trust in the social network, it would go against Facebook's business interests because rivals could use it to compete for advertising, he reasoned.
Facebook also provides users with controls regarding information used for ad targeting and lets them block advertisers,Zuckerberg pointed out.
2018 was a horrific year for Facebook, marked by a series of scandals over data protection and privacy and concerns that the leading social network had been manipulated by foreign interests for political purposes.
Despite the scandals, Facebook revenue and user numbers have continued to grow.