Despite Privacy and Security Controversies, Facebook Continues to Grow

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill. Andrew Harnik/AP File Photo

Facebook is now boasting more than 2.6 billion users for its entire suite of products. This includes Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The core Facebook app now has 1.49 million daily active users, a nine percent increase from the same time in 2017.

And all those users mean one thing: lots and lots of money. To be exact, the company has pulled in $13.78 billion in revenue. The social media giant announced these numbers in its third quarter report on Tuesday.

These gains come despite a year filled with scandal and scrutiny.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal in April revealed to many of the public the company's habit of playing fast and loose with user data. Apple has even removed Facebook's VPN app from the app store for violating privacy guidelines. 

More recently, the company has had to answer for the massive data breach that exposed the private data of 29 million users. 

Has there been fallout? Lawmakers grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the summer, and many have threatened to impose regulations on the company. More recently, the European Union fined the company for the £500,000 for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

Facebook is trying to remedy the situation, however. Facebook is allegedly shopping for cybersecurity company to both rehab its image and bolster its internal security software.

"Protecting peoples privacy is incredibly important because people and businesses will only use Facebook if they feel safe," said Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a conference call on Tuesday, Engadget reports

If you want or need to keep using Facebook but would like the social network to have slightly less information about you, there is a way to remove your phone number from the site entirely