Reg comments49

Zuck covers up mic and webcam because sharing isn't always good

Instagram PR pic poses interesting questions

A PR snapshot of Mark Zuckerberg's desk has shown quite how seriously the king of the information sharing economy takes his own privacy.

On Tuesday, the Behoodied One shared an at-work picture to celebrate hitting 500 million active monthly users on Instagram. But a closer look by California startup employee Chris Olson shows that his laptop has the webcam blocked and there appears to be tape over the audio jacks of his MacBook.

The desk setup matches a Facebook Live video from September last year and the cover-up tape would make sense. FBI director James Comey does the same to his computer and while some honestly admit to not bothering, the amount of malware out there that can take secretive snapshots is huge.

"Only the paranoid survive" was one of the key mottos of Intel cofounder Andy Grove, and he was only talking about Silicon Valley business practices. When it comes to security, a healthy dose of paranoia isn't an aberration, it's a survival trait – and one that Zuck is lacking in.

The picture also appears to show that Zuckerberg is running Thunderbird. It kind of makes sense – when Zuck cut his coding teeth, Mozilla's email client was very popular and nostalgia is a powerful force in software.

Facebook has spent around $16m keeping its head honcho secure, according to SEC filings. It's telling that he's still taking such precautions over personal computer use. The fact that a multi-billionaire with a world-class IT team protecting him is taking such basic security measures like this should make IT managers concerned that their users aren't doing the same. ®


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