Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper defends Zuckerberg: ‘This guy is a hero’

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Tim Draper

Venture capitalist Tim Draper defended Mark Zuckerberg as the Facebook co-founder and CEO testified on Capitol Hill.

“This guy is a hero, let’s face it. It’s awesome what he’s done,” said Draper, a longtime tech investor.

Draper also suggested that the intense scrutiny around Facebook’s handling around user data was hypocritical. “All of a sudden we’re worried about privacy. My God, we put all our pictures up there,” he said at Tuesday’s LendIt Fintech conference in San Francisco.

CNBC reporter Deirdre Bosa, who interviewed Draper at the conference, asked the attendees if they agreed with Draper or thought that Facebook had violated their trust in terms of privacy. The crowd of more than 200 was approximately evenly split.

Draper also implied that Facebook’s privacy concerns were relatively minor compared with other tech giants.

“If you have your credit card up on Amazon, you should be a little bit circumspect about all this attack going on on Facebook,” said Draper. “They’ve got your credit card. Facebook’s just got pictures of you, and maybe they’ve analyzed that you like cats. Who cares?”

The founding partner of Draper Associates and DFJ discussed the possible fallout from government involvement, saying that “more regulation leads to more corruption.” Another risk, said Draper, is that entrepreneurs may leave the U.S. for friendlier markets.

“I got a message for all the guys in Washington. We want these people. Bezos can live anywhere else in the world,” Draper said, referring to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.

Draper, a backer of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Tesla as well as Skype and other tech firms, is also a big believer in bitcoin.

Zuckerberg appeared before a joint Senate committee on Tuesday and the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday.

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