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Facebook users would need to pay to get rid of ads, Sheryl Sandberg says

Facebook users would have to pay the site to opt out of advertising, Sheryl Sandberg has said.

Speaking about Facebook’s reliance on its users’ data, the company’s chief operating officer told NBC “we don’t have an opt-out [for data-driven advertising] at the highest level”, and that “that would be a paid product”.

Facebook later confirmed that no such option is actually available to users, and said that Sandberg had been speaking “in hypothetical terms”. However, her comments will likely spark fresh speculation about the future of the site.

Even if Facebook did start offering users the option to pay for better privacy protections, people have lost so much trust in it over recent weeks that they might not even believe the company would keep its word.

Facebook has come under heavy fire over, after it was alleged that millions of users’ data could have been misused by third-party companies, possibly to interfere in elections.

The social network claims that Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm at the heart of the scandal, had been ordered to delete the information. Cambridge Analytica claims it did get rid of it, but nobody else is quite so sure.

“It is definitely the case in 2016 that we were behind and we didn’t understand that kind of election interference,” Sandberg added. “We thought that the data had been deleted, and you’re right, we should have checked.”

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