Eduardo Saverin, who co-founded the world’s largest social network with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, keeps a low profile on Facebook these days. Why? Even he’s concerned about online privacy.
“I don’t like showing my privacy,” Saverin said in a rare interview with the magazine Veja.
As Facebook nears a billion unique users, the question of privacy has dogged the social network -- and not just users worried about who will see their private photos or have access to the personal information, it seems.
Ironically, Saverin touted the interview on Facebook, describing Veja as “the top magazine in Brazil -- which I used to read when I was young.”
Saverin, who made billions off the world’s most popular social network, made headlines in mid May with his decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship for residence in Singapore, where there is no capital gains tax.
Had he remained a citizen, Saverin would have been hit with about $600 million in capital gains taxes whenever he sold the Facebook shares.
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Veja nevertheless described him as “An American Hero.”
In the interview, Saverin denies fleeing the country in order to avoid the tax penalty. “The decision was only based on my interest in working and living in Singapore,” he said. “I have and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the U.S. government.”
That news may surprise Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Bob Casey, D-Pa., whose so-called "Ex-Patriot Act" bill was their answer to Saverin's decision, first made public in a recently released IRS list.
Saverin’s back story has become confused through myth and fiction, notably the dramatic and fanciful tale described in the fictionalized account of the company's founding, 2010’s “The Social Network,” directed by David Fincher.
Saverin described that film as Hollywood fantasy, telling Veja there is no bad blood between him and Zuckerberg.
“I have only good things to say about Mark. There are no hard feelings between us. His focus on the company since its very first day is anything short of admirable,” Saverin said.
“Facebook wasn’t built out of a Harvard dorm window. And I would never throw a laptop at someone, like it appears in the movie. Not even at Mark.”
Another bit of apocrypha: Saverin’s father didn’t take the family from Brazil to America in 1992 because of threats from kidnappers.
“I always wanted to live in the United States,” Roberto Saverin, Eduardo’s father, told the magazine.