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Recode Daily: The Facebook spying myth that won’t go away

Plus, SoftBank puts $150 million into a Santa Clara data-storage company, the inventors of the internet are having second thoughts, and how a night in can cost you.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Yes, we’re still talking about Facebook. Onstage at the TED conference on Saturday, board member Reed Hastings offered his first public comments on Facebook’s data privacy controversy. Social platforms like YouTube and Facebook “are clearly trying to grow up quickly. And you see that with all new technologies,” said Hastings, the CEO of Netflix. Hastings also called Netflix “the anti-Apple” because it shares so much sensitive business information across departments internally. Here’s how Zuckerberg’s Washington week went over inside Facebook. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

No, Facebook is not listening to you through your phone’s microphone. When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress last week, he was asked — twice, on the record, in front of Congress — if Facebook was spying on people through their microphones. But even though Zuckerberg put the kibosh on everyone’s favorite Facebook rumor, you might not like what the company has in store: Facebook is building an in-home video chat device that will include microphones; given the persistence of the data crisis, Facebook has decided to delay its planned May release. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Here’s how to see, edit and delete the topics that Facebook advertisers use to target you. Most people are woefully unaware of how much data Facebook collects about them, and then how that data is used. Let’s get started. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP, the world’s largest advertising group, resigned amid an investigation into personal misconduct and improper use of company funds. Sorrell built a small wire-basket company into an international marketing giant; he is one of the U.K.’s best-paid business leaders. Observers believe that Sorrell’s departure will have rapid and catastrophic ramifications for WPP and the wider global advertising ecosystem. [Mark Sweney / The Guardian]

General Assembly, a New York-based tech education startup, is selling to Swiss staffing company Adecco for $412 million. General Assembly had raised $120 million. [Dan Primack / Axios]

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is in late talks to fund data-storage company Cohesity in a deal that would value the company at $1 billion. Investors would place at least $150 million into the five-year-old Santa Clara-based company, which is led by CEO Mohit Aron, who previously co-founded Nutanix, another enterprise software company that went public in late 2016. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

Some of those who designed our digital world are aghast at what they created, and the most dire warnings are coming from the heart of Silicon Valley itself. The man who oversaw the creation of the original iPhone believes the device he helped build is too addictive; the inventor of the World Wide Web fears his creation is being “weaponized.” Here’s a clear and disturbing breakdown of what went wrong — in the words of 13 pioneers who built what was supposed to be a techno-utopia. [Noah Kulwin / New York Magazine]

Top stories from Recode

Watch the TED Talk that people at TED were talking about.

“I can’t call these things social networks anymore — I call them behavior modification empires,” said VR pioneer Jaron Lanier.

How Frances Frei tried to rebuild Uber’s troubled culture.

The car-hailing company is two for three on revamping its culture, culture coach Frei said at TED.

Walmart is in advanced talks to acquire Amazon’s India rival Flipkart — but it may have to strike a deal with eBay first.

A small deal before a big deal?

“Somebody should make” a new BlackBerry-like phone, says BlackBerry CEO John Chen.

Not him. But somebody, Chen says on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher.

This is cool

How pizza night at home can cost you more in data than dollars.

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