June 7 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* The federal government has secretly taken information on foreigners overseas for years from companies like Google Inc , Facebook Inc and Apple Inc, according to documents that emerged Thursday and were confirmed by a senior government official. ()
* More than a year ago, the European Union’s top justice official proposed a tough set of measures for protecting the privacy of personal data online. ()
* General Motors Co’s Chief Executive Daniel Akerson stood before a packed hall and took a victory lap of sorts at the company’s annual meeting on Thursday, celebrating a new level of financial stability and GM’s return to the ranks of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. ()
* A year after a shareholder meeting with strong opposition to Wal-Mart Stores Inc board members after a bribery scandal in Mexico, many investors are asking why more change has not occurred. ()
* When it comes to advertising, Facebook Inc has decided it needs a new friend: simplicity. On Thursday, the social network announced that it was going to simplify the process of buying ads significantly, starting with the first question posed to a buyer. ()