When Mark Zuckerberg posted a celebratory photo to Instagram, he wasn’t expecting the eyes of the internet to pick apart this seemingly minor background detail.
We’ve already published pieces about how Facebook has increasingly tried to integrate into our lives, such as the cringeworthy and borderline creepy “Friends Day” slideshows. Over the years, Facebook has established itself as god-king of the internet when it comes to collecting your personal data and turning stalking into an armchair activity.
However, it seems even Zuckerberg himself is wary of his privacy being breached, as shown in this photo celebration of Instagram’s 500 million member milestone:
Commenters were quick to pick up on that laptop on the left, which appears to have both its webcam and microphone jack covered by pieces of tape.
This privacy tactic was popularised by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden; the documents he leaked exposed the NSA’s Optic Nerve project and its efforts to covertly hack the webcams of internet users. Even the USA’s own FBI director tapes his webcam, ensuring his own safety from the security apparatus he’s a part of.
It should come as no surprise. The Facebook founder is a top security target; earlier this month his Pinterest and Linkedin accounts were hacked thanks to a huge data leak. It makes perfect sense, but it does seem richly ironic that even the founder of the biggest data gathering social media network in the world advocates his own privacy while asking users to give up more of theirs.